The Registrar of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Prof Eustace Iyayi, has asked the Federal Government to deploy the youth population into the N13 trillion livestock industry to curb youth restiveness, and in turn, grow the economy.
According to him, to arrest youth restiveness and perennial farmer-herder conflicts in the post-Covid-19 period, the youths can be engaged and their energy directed positively through several youth empowerment programmes in the industry.
He added that the application of technologies and innovations to promote production, processing, and animal trade through effective competitiveness, market access, and penetration that would positively affect the national economy.
Iyayi, who spoke at a press briefing ahead of the ninth ASAN-NIAS joint yearly conference to be held in Abuja, stressed the need to deploy technologies into the sector to enhance the growth of the industry.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, ‘Improved technology: A key strategy for enhanced livestock productivity and national economic development,’ decried the stunted growth of the industry despite a large number of trained animal scientists, huge potential for youth employment, and the industry value of about N13 trillion.
He said Nigeria has about 180 milliion birds, 20 million cattle, 34 million goats, 22 million sheep, and several others, but the country is yet to tap into the huge advantage along the value chain to raise the GDP.