The Federal Government on Monday moved to curtail incessant herder/farmer conflicts with flag-off of National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme, NALBIP, to boost production.
The flag-off of NALBIP was done by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, in Dawanau, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, Kano State as contained in a statement signed by the Director, Information, Theodore Ogaziechi.
Nanono explained that NALBIP is a comprehensive and sustainable mechanism put in place by his Ministry to address the transformation of the livestock value chain, and will improve the genetic makeup of the indigenous breeds in the livestock industry with a focus on dairy cows towards achieving increased milk and meat production.
He said: “National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme, NALBIP, will improve the livelihood of the pastoral communities and other livestock farmers and support the Ministry in addressing challenges in the livestock value chain particularly, the incessant herder- crop farmers’ conflict.
“The programme is targeted at the evolution of hybrid filial generations of dairy cows and other livestock with improved productivity potential and in the overall genetic improvement to the national herd.
“At a better time due to threats poised on the nation’s security heightened by frequent conflicts, banditry and cattle rustling with resultant depletion of the national herd, creating fear and loss of sources of livelihood for Nigerians who depend on agriculture for their sustenance.”
According to him, the programme will facilitate artificial insemination services through training and provision of essential tools and inputs to stakeholders.
However, the Minister decried poor attention including investment in the nation’s livestock industry over the years despite the enormous potential in the industry.
“We have not achieved much to ensure an adequate supply of animal protein, means of livelihood, and increased income.
“Some of the key challenges like low level of investment, poor animal health services, poor access to market, poor fodder supply and livestock Management practices have continued to prevent the sector from reaching its full potential.
“Inadequate investments due largely to under-funding from public and private sectors, absence of enabling government policies, suboptimal functioning institutional settings and linkages and regulatory gaps have led to our inability to achieve sustainable transformation in the livestock value chains.
“This administration is poised to systematically address these challenges”, he said.
Also in a goodwill message, the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by the Kano State Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Hon Murtala Sule Garo, expressed appreciation for the choice of Kano State for the pilot scheme of the programme, stating that the state has the comparative advantage in terms of its livestock population and vast arable land.
While noting that the Breed improvement programme for the sector will upgrade the existing indigenous breeds and increase productivity, the governor assured the Minister that the state government will continue to support the federal government in all its intervention efforts in the state.
In opening remarks, the Director, Animal Husbandry Department in the Ministry, Winnie Lai- Solarin, stressed that the Breed programme forms part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, of the Federal Government.
She said: “Animal agriculture plays a significant role in the country’s agro-economy and contributes to the qualitative nutrition of the citizenry, job creation and food security status of our nation. It also lends significantly to the socio-economic livelihoods of the populace particularly livestock value chain actors.”