• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Livestock production has to increase to satisfy animal protein demand – Agric minister

livestock

Mohammed Sabo Nanono, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has asserted that to satisfy expected huge demand for animal protein and other livestock products, livestock production and productivity has to increase commensurably in quality and quantity by about 60percent.

Nanono made the assertion in Umuahia, Abia State during the 8th Joint Annual Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science,( NIAS) and the Animal Science Association of Nigeria, (ASAN) tagged ‘Animal Agriculture: Anchor for Sustainable Economic and Human Development in Nigeria’.

The Agriculture minister, who disclosed the interventions of the Federal Government in livestock through the FMARD, said the FG was engaging with the World Bank on a six-year project tagged ‘Livestock Production and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES), a project with development objective to improve productivity, resilience and commercialisation of selected livestock value chain.

Nanono listed some of the ongoing FMARD’s innovative interventions to also include the Cattle Breed Improvement Programme (CABIP), the Dairy Development Programme, (DDP) and the National Egg Production Scheme (NEGPRO).

“The livestock as we all know is very vital to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria and represents an important source of high quality animal protein, provides about 36.5 percent of the total protein intake of Nigerians, generates employment, income and earns foreign exchange for the country. The sub-sector is estimated to contribute about eight to ten percent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product, GDP and five percent of the National GDP.

“The global projection is that Nigeria’s population presently at over 200 million may reach about 400 million by 2050. Consequently, demand for livestock and livestock products will be more than double within this period. To satisfy this expected huge demand for animal protein and other livestock products, livestock production and productivity has to increase commensurably in quality and quantity by about sixty percent,” he said.

He reiterated the readiness of his ministry to ensure that agricultural research institutes are strengthened, to help actualise President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at repositioning the sector.

Taiwo Adeoye, president, Animal Science Association of Nigeria in welcome address, said: “One of the ways we believe this can be achieved is to ensure the unbundling of the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) and implement its Whitepaper on the Vision 20:20:20 National Economic Development Blueprint which recommended the unbundling of the NAPRI into four livestock commodity based research Institutes”.

He argued that NAPRI as it currently exists could not cope with developing the various seed stock required by the industry for the different livestock species, hence the need to be unbundled into National Beef Research Institute; National Poultry Research Institute; National Dairy Research Institute and National Swine Research Institute.

Adeoye described the theme of the event as not only apt but as a veritable wake up call to the needed economic and human resource renaissance, considering the huge potential and contribution of the livestock sub-sector to national productivity as contained in the country’s medium-term development strategy which is guided by the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, 2017 – 2020.

 

UDOKA AGWU, UMUAHIA.