The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe and the President of the country, the Association of Poultry Farmers of Nigeria (PAN), Ezekiel Ibrahim, praised CHI Farms Limited and Zoetis for creating an ultramodern veterinary diagnostic center that was opened last Wednesday in Ibadan.
Ogbeh, who was represented by the Director and Chief Veterinary Department of the Veterinary and Pest Management Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Olaniran Alabi, said that commissioning the diagnostic center justifies the joint efforts of the federal government and the private sector in providing essential tools , necessary for sustainable socio-economic growth in the development of livestock in Nigeria.
According to him, the livestock subsector contributes 5.8% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and provides a livelihood for more than 30%
The Nigerian rural population, adding that for livestock management in Nigeria to remain profitable and sustainable in the face of a growing population and the demand for protein, it is important that animal diseases and epidemics are well controlled and eradicated.
He noted that the subsector is limited by a number of factors, the most important of which is the prevalence of a wide range of animal diseases, such as the contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Peste des Petits Ruminant (PPR), African swine fever (ASF), etc.
He further stressed that for Nigeria, to ensure profitable livestock for farmers, a proper, effective and accurate diagnosis of animal diseases is necessary.
"It is important to note that the diagnosis of animal diseases is an important component of veterinary services and that in Nigeria there are quite a few laboratories that conduct diagnostics of animal diseases. However, these laboratories are operating below their optimal level, which leads to a huge gap in the services of veterinary diagnostics. "
"The creation and equipping of the state-of-the-art veterinary diagnostic laboratory Chi Farms, commissioned today in Ibadan, could not be at best, than now, when Nigeria is looking forward to diversifying its economy through agricultural and other non-oil sectors."
"Let me take this opportunity to assess Chi Farms and Zoetis-ALPHA for this commendable initiative and encourage other foreign organizations to cooperate with Nigeria in the field of animal health and veterinary services," he added.
Also speaking at the event, the National President, the Association of Poultry Breeders of Nigeria (PAN), Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim said that the poultry industry in Nigeria faced many problems, especially with losses from an outbreak that, according to him, upset and maimed investments of some farmers, leaving them dull and hopeless.
He acknowledged the efforts of the National Institute for Veterinary Research (NVRI) to diagnose animal diseases, but noted that emerging problems and a change in the trend towards clinical manifestations of diseases require more aggressive intervention.
According to him, "fighting bird disease is very sensitive by the time the index is identified to avoid, control and prevent production losses. It is here that the quality of the intervention of the veterinary diagnostic laboratory becomes the central point in the decision of the management of disease control. The industry requires a diagnostic laboratory, which is reliable in sensitivity and specificity. This is the future of combating diseases in poultry farming. "
"In poultry farming at this time, availability, reliability, accessibility and availability of diagnostic services for growth is required."
He praised the farms CHI and Zoetis for the precise intervention through the establishment of the City Laboratory, adding that the project came at the right time to support the growth of the poultry industry and redirects the attention of the subsector to the importance of quality laboratory services in combating diseases.
In his opening remarks, the Managing Director of Chi Farms Limited, Mr. Martin Middernacht, said that the motivation for the establishment of the City Laboratory in cooperation with Zoetis was to help livestock farmers grow healthy and lucrative animals, and to conduct research and develop vaccines based on tests.
In addition, the regional director of Zoetis, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Gabriel Varga, said his partnership with Chi Farms Limited on the project is mainly to help poultry farmers in Nigeria realize their full potential.
Varga further stated that similar laboratories will be opened in different parts of the country at subsequent stages of the project A.L.P.H.A.