The Federal Government under the national livestock transformation plan has launched the ‘National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to enhance the activities of the Nigerian livestock sector.
Speaking during the launch in Abuja, Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and rural development said that the NAITS project is one of the strategies of government aimed to address the socio-economic and security challenges bedevilling the livestock sector and dearth of data for proper planning among others.
According to him, the programme is a comprehensive animal information management system that will utilize forgery-proof ear tags and cattle passports combined with digital technology to identify and track livestock across Nigeria.
He said, “the successful implementation of NAITS will support livestock owners to identify their animals, curb livestock rustling, facilitate interventions in the livestock sector, provision of credit and insurance, livestock movement control, animal recording for genetic improvement and research, ease of traceability, surveillance, animal disease control and enable trade among others.
“The global trade requirements and consumer concerns for source of livestock and livestock products traded and consumed makes animal identification and traceability very necessary to enable Nigeria compete favourably in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
He further explained that NAITS, as part of the national livestock transformation plan will be implemented in all 36 states and the FCT.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that, stakeholder engagement and sensitization on NAITS have already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT and will continue until all states are covered,” he said.
In his remarks, Yahaya Abubakar, chairman, Niger state council of traditional rulers commended the government for the program stating that it will provide full visibility for livestock sector, especially the pastoralists who are marginalized and unfairly treated by the society.
According to him, “issues of desertification have reduced arable land and the recent floods have adversely affected production.
“The project will provide significant benefits to land owners and farmers who produce economic pastures, which is necessary to support the livestock sector while simultaneously obtaining organic manure for the livestock to promote sustainable agricultural purchases can boost their yields.