The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, has said that livestock production has to increase in quality and quantity by about 60 per cent to satisfy expected huge demand for animal protein and other livestock products.
Nanono spoke in Umuahia, Abia State during the 8th Joint Annual Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science and the Animal Science Association of Nigeria, tagged ‘Animal Agriculture: Anchor for sustainable economic and human development in Nigeria’.
The 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’, a project with development objective to improve productivity, resilience and commercialisation of selected livestock value chain.
Some of the ongoing FMARD’s innovative interventions according to the minister, represented by Mrs Omagbemi, include the Cattle Breed Improvement Programme, the Dairy Development Programme, and the National Egg Production Scheme.
He said, “The livestock as we all know is very vital to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and represents an important source of high quality animal protein, provides about 36.5 per cent of the total protein intake of Nigerians, generates employment, income and earns foreign exchange for the country. The subsector is estimated to contribute about eight to 10 per cent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product, and five per cent 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 60 per cent”.
Nanono expressed the readiness of his ministry to ensure that agricultural research institutes were strengthened in order to actualise President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at repositioning the sector.
In his welcome address, the President, Animal Science Association of Nigeria, Taiwo Adeoye, said, “One of the ways we believe this can be achieved is to ensure the unbundling of the National Animal Production Research Institute, and implement its white paper on the Vision 20:2020 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 existed could never 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.