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Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts

Friday, December 6, 2019

Lagos Govt Inaugurates Reform To End Sales Of Unwholesome Red Meat With A.T.M Strategy.

The Lagos Govt Inaugurates Reform To End Sales Of Unwholesome Red Meat With A.T.M Strategy, which is a three-pronged approach to sanitize the red meat value chain. The purpose is to ensure that only wholesome beef is available to the populace. Prince Gbolahan Lawal, State Commissioner for Agriculture, said at the occasion that the state government was committed to sanitising the value chain. Lawal, flagging off the pilot scheme of the reform at Ita Faji Market in Lagos Island, noted that it would be done by embarking on three-pronged approach with the acronym A.T.M: Abattoir, Transportation and Market. The Honorable commissioner also stated that the reform would not only ensure the consumption of wholesome meat by the people, but it would also facilitate export of red meat to other countries. ( The Hon. Commissioner speaking about the reforms ) The commissioner said that the reasons some African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia and Kenya could export meats to Europe, Saudi Arabia and other developed countries is solely because of the reforms they have been able to carry out in their red meat value chains which enable their red meat to meet the international standard. The pilot scheme of the A.T.M reform kicked off on the 5/12/19 at Ita Faji market and it will last one month, the commissioner also stated that the reform would be piloted in four local governments including: Lagos Island, Ita Faji Market; Ikorodu, Igando and Badagry axis and that the reform would go live across the 20 local government areas and 37 LCDA on Jan. 5, 2020. The A.T.M approach refers to reforms in Abattoirs, Transportation and Marketing of beef in the state. The reforms in the Abattoirs makes it mandatory that all animals are to be slaughtered in registered abattoirs and are to be issued certificate of health and wholesomeness after inspection by veterinary doctors. The abattoirs in the state are given codes for tractability such that the codes tallies with the certificate and meat receipts.The meat receipt is issued to meat vendors that purchase already certified carcasses, and the number on the receipt matches that on the certificate of health and wholesomeness . ( Dr Ojuri, explaining the A.T.M) Transportation: in Lagos it is only Eko refrigerated meat vans that must move beef. The vans have codes that matches the abattoir where the beef is processed and a number indicating its designated markets. The carcasses are transported to the markets in cool conditions under hygienic conditions. Market: In our markets now, only carcasses with certificates and receipts are allowed into the market. The certificate and receipt are the new pass for dispatch of beef in Lagos markets. The meat processed in hygienic conditions and transported in cool conditions are received in markets by well kitted butchers with clean overall,caps,gloves and safety foot wear. The beef is displayed in clean covered butchering tables that prevents unnecessary handling of beef by prospective buyers and also keeps flies and dust away from the beef.The butchering tables adopted in the markets are those made with Teflon cutting tops,to prevent splitting wood with meat when cutting it. The A.T.M strategy is to ensure only wholesome beef is available to the populace from abattoir to the market. Read also:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


AGRIBUSINESS : THE GARRI REVOLUTION. Change is the only constant thing in life,follow the trend. Garri story !!! WHY GARRI? why the niche? this is why!!! Garri is easily accessible, affordable and a larger portion of the population are accustomed to the food. Echbee foods thus decided to fortify what was already common in most homes to achieve our purpose of balanced meal with garri. Garri which is the most common by -product is food for over 800 million people in the world, thus fortifying the garri to produce a highly nutritious cereal can generate over 120 billion naira as revenue.

Friday, February 15, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS: Deadly skin trade may have prompted Nigeria’s Equine Influenza outbreak.

AGRIBUSINESS: Deadly skin trade may have prompted Nigeria’s Equine Influenza outbreak.Nigeria has declared an outbreak of Equine Influenza with more than 3000 equines infected, with reports from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) suggesting the outbreak is a symptom of the unregulated global movement and trading of donkeys for their skins. International animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary has warned of a potential disease epidemic in West Africa, following reports from partners in neighbouring countries Mali and Ghana of donkeys showing similar characteristics of the disease, including fever and nasal discharge. The highly contagious disease can affect all equines.

Thursday, February 7, 2019


AGRIBUSINESS: HOW TO START CASSAVA FARMING IN NIGERIA. Cassava is a shrub grown in the tropics and subtropics for its underground starchy tuberous roots. Cassava is a very popular product in Africa and can be used for the production of many different kinds of foods and products like fufu, starch, animal feed, sweeteners, alcohol and bio-degradable products. Benefits of Cassava • Cassava brightens and smoothens the skin • It hydrates the skin and is an amazing face mask • Cassava helps in the removal of scars and spots • Cassava helps in hair growth and also contributes in reducing hair loss • Cassava is good for the digestive system . Cassava helps in overcoming headache and fever • It helps in the prevention of cancer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS: Recycled gypsum as an agricultural product.

AGRIBUSINESS: Recycled gypsum as an agricultural product.Gypsum, a source of calcium and sulfur, can benefit crops and soils. When recovered from power plant smokestacks, it brings the additional benefits of recycling.Gypsum is a mineral that is naturally found concentrated in various places and can be mined out of the ground. Warren Dick's research research focuses on gypsum recovered from coal-fired electricity generating power plants. Gypsum that comes from coal plants is called flue-gas desulfurization gypsum, as it comes from the process that 'scrubs' sulfur out of the smoke stacks to reduce air pollution.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS: How to make beauty products from seaweed.

AGRIBUSINESS: How to make beauty products from seaweed. Agriprenuers have various inspirations for their businesses. For Ms Maryam Abubakar, she had her Eureka moment while on a tea date with a friend in 2017. “As we were chatting, this friend spoke to me about the many opportunities in sea weed value addition. I decided to give it a try,” she tells Smart Harvest. She did research After the meeting, she travelled to Zanzibar to do a factfinding mission on seaweed trade. Her plan was to start exporting this sea vegetable to China, Japan or Korea. “I searched for possible clients in Asia on the app. There were many clients but I could not afford the cost of freight. I needed Sh1 million capital,” she says. When she failed to raise the money, Abubakar decided to go local. Her plan? She would start production of beauty products using the sea vegetable from her house in Mombasa. Seaweed are forms of algae that grow along rocky shorelines around at the Coast, especially, in Kwale County and is a delicacy in Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea.

AGRIBUSINESS: Ghana researchers suggest insect meal as alternative protein.

AGRIBUSINESS: Ghana researchers suggest insect meal as alternative protein.Insect meal may replace soy and fish meal as the cheapest and safest source of protein feed for the country’s livestock. Various researchers around the world have investigated the possibility of using insect meal as a sustainable source of nutrition in livestock feed. Most recently, researchers in Ghana have said they believe using insect meal will be a feasible, safe and cost-effective source of protein for livestock

AGRIBUSINESS: Avian flu returns to commercial poultry in Nigeria, Russia.

AGRIBUSINESS: Avian flu returns to commercial poultry in Nigeria, Russia. Based on official reports, new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in poultry and ostriches in India, Nigeria, Russia, and South Africa, while a low-pathogenic virus has been detected again in the Dominican Republic. Previous local media reports of new outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N1 virus subtype in India have now been confirmed. Two backyard flocks in Bihar state totaling more than 4,000 poultry were affected by these outbreaks in mid-December and early January, according to the report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). One of the flocks was located in Mungar — the same district as a previous linked outbreak — and the other was in Banka. That brings the total outbreaks in the state since November last year to three. Africa: Further outbreaks in South Africa’s ostrich industry, Nigerian poultry The H5N8 HPAI virus has been causing sporadic outbreaks of HPAI in commercial ostriches in West Cape Province since June of 2017. There were a further five outbreaks between August and November last year, according to the report of the country’s veterinary service to the OIE. There were a total of 159 cases of the disease among a total of more than 6,500 ostriches at farm in four different regions, including the city of Cape Town. Following a lull, the same HPAI virus subtype has been detected at two chicken farms in the central Nigerian state of Bauchi. The first outbreak in the second week of January was in a flock of 2,000 young pullets following the introduction of new birds, according to the official report from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This event was followed the next week in a “backyard” flock of almost 850 mature laying hens. Prior to these outbreaks, the most recent detection of the H5N8 virus in the area was in neighboring Nasawara state in February last year. Low-pathogenic virus detected in Dominican Republic An H5N2 variant of the low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus was detected in the Dominican Republic in November of 2018, according to the latest agriculture ministry report to the OIE. Of a flock of mixed species in the northern state of Puerto Plata, 745 of the birds died, and the rest were destroyed or slaughtered. The last time this virus was reported in the country was in June last year.

Saturday, February 2, 2019


AGRIBUSINESS: BREEDING SOUNDNESS. How long can I keep a bull, and at what age can a young bull start mating cows? Puberty in bulls occurs when they can produce viable sperm. This happens at approximately 12 months of age, though it can vary in individual bulls several months before or after this age depending on biological type (primarily frame size and potential mature weight), nutrition, and health status. Most bulls have reached puberty when scrotal circumference measures approximately 26 cm. A generally accepted guideline is to purchase/use only yearling bulls that have a minimum 32-cm scrotal circumference. Bulls can remain in service until they are 10 or 12 years of age. However, this is not the norm and usually remain in the herd for 4 to 5 years. Many do not last nearly that long due to hoof problems, structural problems, fertility issues, or injuries. Read: The management factors affecting fertility. Profitability for the cow-calf producer starts with high pregnancy rates and a high percentage of the calves being conceived early in the breeding season. A critical component of reproductive success is having sound, highly fertile bulls. This requires bull(s) that can detect cows in estrus, successfully mount and deliver viable, normal sperm into the reproductive tract of the cow. A proven method to determine the breeding potential of bulls is the Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE) system developed by the Society for Theriogenology. The Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE) is a relatively quick and economic procedure that can be performed by your veterinarian. It is recommended that all bulls be checked annually, within 60 days of the start of the breeding season. The BSE system is a screening procedure that places bulls into categories of satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or deferred.

AGRIBUSINESS: Factors that affect bull fertility.

AGRIBUSINESS: Factors that affect bull fertility.When it comes to bulls, fertility is of upmost importance as their job is to secure the future of your herd. 1)Body Condition Your bull should have a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 3 or more before being turned out to the cows. As bulls can lose hundreds of pounds of weight during the breeding season it is a bad idea to have them in bad condition at the start of breeding season. This will likely compromise herd fertility and reduce the reproduction rate. Dramatic weight loss leads to lower sperm quality and production. However you need to watch out for overweight bulls too because they can become lazy. READ: Fertility of cows and bulls. 2) Weather Heat stress can have a detrimental effect on sperm motility in Bulls. It also affects fertility in cows. Excessive cold can affect bull fertility too, especially in cases of frostbite. Scrotal frostbite can affect fertility. Usually the way to spot this is inflammation and swelling days after freezing. This inflammation generates heat which affects development of the bull’s sperm and could temporarily - or permanently - sterilize the bull. 3) Disease and infection. Disease and parasite control in bulls is very important. Even if the disease doesn’t directly relate to fertility, it could affect his body condition. If the bull fails to maintain a good body score it could lead to reduced vigor. Infections like foot rot can display itself with a fever. Fever is harmful to a bull’s performance, as the sperm that were forming whilst he was suffering from it will be abnormal, and afterwards, he will have an infertile period of about 60 days. Disease prevention should be treated the same in a bull as with females. New animals should be screened by a vet for possible infectious agents, and only buy bulls from a reputable source with a healthy herd plan. Here are three rules you should follow to avoid disease in cattle. Don’t expose cows to bulls from other herds or vice versa. No leasing or borrowing bulls No grazing in common lands with other herds, good solid fences to keep neighbors out. Bovine Trichomoniasis - This is a venereal disease which leads to repeat breeders, low pregnancy rates and abortions beginning in early pregnancy and continuing right up to the time of calving. There is no treatment for Trichomoniasis, although most cows will self-clear of the disease within 120 days. Bulls spread the disease between cows and any bull found carrying it must be culled. Because of this you should test your bulls annually. 4) Injury Lameness. If a bull is lame he won’t be able to stand up to his task. If he is partly lame his performance will be impaired.


AGRIBUSINESS: COMMON DISEASES OF NEW CALVES. Calves are born with an underdeveloped immune system which makes them prone to infections and diseases than older animals. 1)Johne’s Disease: Caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. It is passed on if a calf ingests infected colostrum or infected manure. It then damages the gut wall. Symptom: Calves are occasionally infected at birth when the mother is in advanced stage of the disease. If a newborn becomes infected, signs of this aren’t likely to surface until two or more years later. Because of this, you'll want to be checking out the dam for symptoms instead. The main symptoms are weight loss and scour. Prevention: 1)Remove the calf from the calving pens soon as possible and introduce them to a clean dry and uncontaminated environment. 2)Collect the colostrum yourself and make sure your hands are clean. 3)Only feed colostrum from test negative cows. 2)Calf Pneumonia.Caused by complex interaction between viral and bacterial pathogens, environmental stress factors and the animal’s own resilience to disease.Symptom: 1)Temperature greater than 39.5C. 2) Increased breathing rate and effort. 3)coughing and nasal discharge. The prevention includes the following: 1) Well ventilated facilities reduces the risk of calves developing respiratory infections or pneumonia. Badly ventilated sheds retain too much moisture in the air and let it gather into droplets, and then puddles. These are the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. 2)Keep calves dry and well-bedded. Calves are not born with a winter hair coat so they need that extra layer to help keep them strong and healthy. Additionally they need to be in a clean place so refresh it regularly. 3)Feed enough milk to keep the calf warm, and healthy especially during cold weather. 4)Avoid nose to nose contact, Infectious saliva and moisture from the respiratory tract can cause pneumonia to spread from calf to calf. 5)Keep age groups separated in group housing, older calves will have a more developed immune system. 6)Vaccinate the cow/heifer and the protection is transferred via colostrum. 7)Avoid buying calves that could carry new bugs. 8)Prevent aspiration pneumonia caused by incorrect feeding. 9)Minimize weaning stress by leaving rehousing, tagging and dehorning until later. Treatment is with antibiotics. 3) Bleeding calf syndrome: Caused by antibodies absorbed from this colostrum. These antibodies attack the bone marrow cells in the calf after suckling which almost destroy it completely. This leaves the calf unable to produce red and white blood cells, leaving the calf without a functioning immune system. While Bleeding Calf Syndrome was linked to a Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) vaccine, the exact nature of the connection is unclear. Symptom: .Their bodies can’t create blood clots, which causes the bleeding effect. Prevention: If your cow’s colostrum causes Bleeding Calf Syndrome once, it will always cause it.


AGRIBUSINESS: LIVER FLUKE IN CATTLE. A liver fluke is a parasitic worm that commonly live off of cattle, sheep and other livestock.Cattle can pick them up while out at pasture, and if not treated can drastically affect their performance, and cause liver damage. The disease they cause is called fascioliasis. Cattle typically develop chronic disease and classically show loss of weight, condition and become anaemic. Liver fluke-related disease can become acute and even fatal.However, if the offending liver flukes mature into adult egg-laying parasites, it can lead to severe liver damage depending on the number. Cattle infected with liver fluke are considered to be more susceptible to other infections,that is why it is so important to deal with liver fluke early. HOW TO DEAL WITH LIVER FLUKE 1: IDENTIFY RISK If you are aware of high risk areas for liver fluke, then deal with them as soon as possible. Fence off wet areas, attend to leaky troughs and pipes, drainage or housing early.If you have lost any sheep, investigate this, as this can be an early indication of fluke risk for your cattle. 2: TREAT APPROPRIATELY Cattle cannot pick up liver fluke when they are housed, however if they are not, it has the potential to put their growth rates well below market weight. Correct treatment means using the right product, at the right time, using the correct dose rate and administering it the right way. Never underdose your cattle for liver fluke, and do not assume that one size fits all when you’re measuring doses. Base your measurement off your heaviest animal for a group of cattle. Do not overdose your cattle either as this can encourace resistance to liver fluke treatments. If you have a large variation in weights, group them to ensure an accurate dose rate. If the treatment comes in the form of an injection, ensure it goes under the skin and not into the muscle. 3: AVOID RESISTANCE Over-reliance or overdosing on a flukicide can lead to drug resistance growing in liver fluke.It is important that you have an effective plan for cattle that reduces the risk of resistance spreading. Treatment: Among the products that kill liver flukes are Ivomec® Plus (Merial); Valbazen® (Pfizer) and Noromectin® PLUS (Norbrook),triclobendazole, nitroxynil 34% and 3 Levanor plus.

AGRIBUSINESS: Why a new calf needs a clean shed.

AGRIBUSINESS: Why a new calf needs a tidy shed.The most efficient cattle operations never consider tidy housing a waste of time. Washing, tidying and maintaining a hygienic cattle shed has financial, health and time benefits down the line. Here are the reasons it is particularly important for calves to have a tidy shed.1)Calves have a poor immune system If your shed is covered in harmful bacteria then your calves are at risk from the moment they hit the ground. Minimize this risk by power washing your byre before the calving season starts and by power washing calving pens once a cow and calf leaves. Calves are particularly vulnerable at birth because they haven't got a well developed immune system yet.There is no vaccine to combat calf-prone viruses like cryptosporidium so keeping the calving box hygienic and disinfected is key to avoid it and other diseases from building up. 2) Better ventilation means less chance of pneumonia. This has more to do with planning (and altering) your shed design, but better ventilation is important at calving time too. In well-ventilated sheds, animals are shown by research to perform better, as they are less likely to develop respiratory infections or pneumonia. Badly ventilated sheds retain too much moisture in the air which then promotes harmful bacteria growth. 3)Calves spend 80% of their time lying down Because of this, and their poor immune system, it is vital that you refresh their straw bedding often before it gets too dirty. This has the added benefit of keeping them warm. Certain minerals are harmful to calves Most farmers aren’t calving all year around, so calving pens will be empty for a time. This does not mean you can store things there when they are. Calving boxes should be left clean and dry during the summer, and shouldn’t be used to store minerals that could be potentially harmful to calves

Thursday, January 31, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS:Clean home with bio-enzymes from vegetables, fruits and kitchen waste.

AGRIBUSINESS:Clean home with bio-enzymes from vegetables, fruits and kitchen waste.You can now use bio-enzymes derived from the skin of vegetables and fruits to keep things clean at home, purify water and simultaneously help protecting environment.Bengaluru-based organization ‘Soil and Soul’ has been teaching and encouraging people to prepare bio-enzymes at their homes. Preeti Rao from ‘Soil and Soul’ told PTI that she started composting kitchen waste, growing veggies and then discovered citrus peels can’t be composted, so figured out a way of creating bio-enzymes from them. “We talk about cleaning floor, purifying water and eliminating germs but killing all kinds of microbes is not a good idea. We break the food cycle if we kill all microbes,” she said. “I use bio-enzymes to clean chimneys, the kitchen slab, the toilets ? they don’t kill germs, they eat them up and also protect the food cycle. These are basic we learnt in school,” she said. She said one litre of water mixed with 300 grams of unused vegetables and 100 grams jaggery could give housekeepers their first bio-enzyme in 90 days. And the second time, it could be prepared within one month by using the existing enzymes.

AGRIBUSINESS: Rural innovator adapts tech to preserve sugarcane juice for a year.

AGRIBUSINESS: Rural innovator adapts tech to preserve sugarcane juice for a year.Indian summers are synonymous with tall glasses of cold sugarcane juice, a seasonal delicacy that disappears from the market all too soon. But sugarcane lovers take heart! A recent innovation could mean you can stock up your refrigerator with bottled sugarcane juice for up to a year. Rajgopal Irappa Patil has adapted technology that can help preserve sugarcane juice for 12 months without using any chemical preservatives. He says: “This technology leads to shelf-stable, ready-to-serve bottled sugarcane juice that is healthy and hygienic, especially when compared to what is offered by roadside vendors.” The technology of Punjab Agricultural University involves a storage tank, a pasteurisation system, and a homogeneous system (to add flavours). Natural flavouring agents, salts, and anti-oxidants (from natural ingredients such as mint, ginger, and lime) are added to the juice before it is bottled.

AGRIBUSINESS: New technology to keep fruits, vegetables fresh for 1,000 days.

AGRIBUSINESS: New technology to keep fruits, vegetables fresh for 1,000 days.While efforts are being made to reduce wastage of perishables via cold chain management, an Indian company has introduced 'Black Box' technology, which ensures the preservation of any agricultural commodity for 1,000 days. Sahil Peerzada and Sachin Adhikari of Viztar Agritech have tied up with Spain-based Nice Fruits to offer new technology in cold storage plants in the Indian subcontinent. Black Box is a unique technology developed by scientists in Spain. It can be easily set up in any factory or plant. Regular cold storage utilises nitrogen. However, in the Black Box system, there will be neither nitrogen nor any preservative. The stored commodities will have their natural content and nutrition value intact for 1,000 days.Fruits, vegetables, or meat, anything can be kept fresh for 1,000 days using Black Box.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Agribusiness:How to get small piglets to eat more feed.

Agribusiness:How to get small piglets to eat more feed.What influences feed intake of small piglets? Researchers from the Netherlands looked at the effects on feed intake and feeding behaviour of many aspects of feed in more detail. The scientists, attached to Wageningen University and Research, published about the research in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. They describe a trial that tested the feeding behaviour of suckling piglets when different diets were supplied to them. The hypothesis of the study was that presentation of the feed in a more diverse form, by varying multiple sensory properties of the feed, stimulates pre-weaning feed intake. Stimulating solid feed intake in suckling piglets is important to facilitate the weaning transition, exemplified by the positive correlation between pre- and post-weaning feed intake. 2 different diets tested by piglets Piglets received ad libitum feed from 2 days of age in 2 feeders per pen (choice feeding set-up).Feed A was an experimental diet from the university’s Animal Nutrition Group. Extruder settings intendedly varied during production, resulting in differences in pellet texture, length and hardness to create diversity within feed A. Feed B is a commercial diet, called Baby Big XL, from Coppens Diervoeding in the Netherlands. Feed B was a 14-mm diameter pellet, with a length of 10-20 mm and a hardness of 6.8 kg.Feeding behaviour was studied by weighing feed remains and by live observations. Observations were also used to discriminate ‘eaters’ from ‘non-eaters’. In addition, eaters were grouped into different eater classes (i.e. good, moderate and bad). Provision of feed A and B increased pre-weaning feed intake by 50% compared to provision of feed A only (with and without additional flavours). Piglets receiving feed A and B had no overall preference in terms of feed intake for either feed A or B, indicating pre-weaning feed intake increased by an enhanced intake of both feeds. These results supported the researchers’ hypothesis that the more diverse the feeds provided in terms of sensory properties (e.g. ingredient composition, texture), the greater the intake will be. The reason for this is expected to be sensory-specific satiety and/or piglets’ intrinsic motivation to explore.

AGRIBUSINESS: Print-Arome for flavor imprinting.

AGRIBUSINESS: Print-Arome for flavour imprinting. Print-Arome is flavor formulated with essential oils.Dosed in the sows and post-weaning diets generate an “imprinting” effect in the piglets. This effect familiarizes the piglets with its scent and facilitates the introduction to solid food. As a result, it increases feed intake, weight gain and reduces health problems associated with early weaning. It improves feed intake by 95% while it reduces stress by 92%. Print-Arome.

AGRIBUSINESS: Expanding the reach of flavour imprinting in piglets.

AGRIBUSINESS: Expanding the reach of flavour imprinting in piglets. An aroma, based on essential oils, is capable of generating an imprinting effect in piglets that can boost their introduction to solid feed after weaning and improves their performance. Combining this with spray dried porcine plasma could bring even further benefits post-weaning. Early weaned piglets are subject to a great deal of stress and have to adapt abruptly to a new diet, which delivers a great physiological challenge. As a result, during the first week after weaning, piglets typically have a low feed intake and a growth decrease that has an impact on the animal’s gut morphology, increasing the risk of post-weaning diarrhoea and consequently affecting the animals subsequent performance. Supplementing sow and post-weaning diets with Print-Arome, a flavour formulated with essential oils, has an imprinting effect in piglets. This effect familiarises the piglets with its scent and facilitates the introduction to solid feed. The transfer of dietary information from mother to offspring with the essential oils flavour has been proven to successfully improve feed intake and weight gain of piglets at weaning. Likewise, spray dried porcine plasma (SDPP) is also a common feed ingredient used for similar objectives; included in weaning diets to improve feed intake, post-weaning performance and reduce diarrhoea incidence.

Agribusiness: A good start is vital for healthy piglets.

Agribusiness: A good start is vital for healthy piglets.Raising healthy piglets from start through weaning is a challenge not to be underestimated, impacting performance and health at later stages. Sudden change in dietary regimens and management at weaning puts a heavy burden on the animal’s immature digestive system. This leads to a disturbed immune system and microbiota, and increased susceptibility to diseases. Stress already starts at birth, a crucial period filled with risks: piglets must be born strong and healthy and remain that way. Once born, piglets encounter several hurdles: piglets suffer from all kinds of pathogenic challenges with an immature immune system. There is a significant and immediate demand on the gut to digest and absorb nutrients efficiently to maintain a high growth rate. Intestinal epithelial cell integrity is of prime importance considering that this epithelium is responsible for absorption of water, electrolytes, and nutrients. Not to forget the beneficial microbiome that must establish itself as soon as possible to guarantee a fully functioning intestinal tract. Once the piglet could manage these hurdles, another event, considered as a major stressor, takes place: weaning. Although technological improvements in housing, nutrition, and management are available to minimise the stress, piglets are weaned at unphysiologically early ages. The sudden change in dietary regimens at weaning places a heavy burden on the immature digestive system of the piglet. The gastro-intestinal tract is affected by a change in microbiome, mechanical damage, and inflammation as reaction to the stresses (social, nutritional, handling) of weaning. The effects are aggravated by the immature immune system which has not developed a full response to cope with pathogens, resulting in disease . It is clear impairment of the normal gut and immune function, leading to diarrhoea and even death, which needs to be avoided.