The Federal Government says it will encourage private investment in the livestock sector to curb banditry, cattle rustling and farmers-herdsmen clashes.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this in Abuja when he featured on the News Agency Nigeria flagship interview programme, NANForum.
Mohammed said one of the recommendations at the recent Town Hall Meeting on National Security held in Kaduna was that the current system of animal husbandry in the country had become unsustainable.
He said participants at the town hall meeting sponsored by his ministry underscored the need to mechanise the sector and adopt deliberate policies to attract investors.
Mohammed said the National Livestock Transformation Plan inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was in line with the recommendations of the town hall meeting.
He said participants at the meeting agreed that if properly tapped, the economic benefits and job creation potential in the livestock sector were greater than in the oil sector.
The minister noted that the poultry and piggery sub-sectors had succeeded largely because they adopted modern technology, adding tha this should be replicated in the livestock sector.
According to Mohammed, nomadic cattle rearing is more of a culture and way of life for Fulani herdsmen and there is the need for vigorous advocacy to convince them on benefits of modern methods like ranching.
“For the average Fulani man, moving around with his cattle is his way of life even when the business can be better done through other methods like ranching.
“We need time to convince them, that the average cow in a ranch produces 12 times the volume of milk and 10 times the quantity of meat than the one on the march produces.
” That is why advocacy forms part of the components of the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan,” he said.
NAN recalls that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in September 2019 inaugurated the National Livestock Transformation Plan at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa.
Osinbajo had said that the plan was designed to run from 2019 to 2028 as part of the Federal Government’s initiative in collaboration with states under the auspices of the National Economic Council.
He said the plan, targeted at supporting the development of Nigeria’s livestock sector, is to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.
According to the vice president, the plan will be implemented as a collaboration project between the federal and state governments, farmers, pastoralists and private investors.
Osinbajo noted that the plan was designed to provide a modern dairy industry and in some cases integrated crop farming.