THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the livestock subsector accounts for about 2-5 per cent of the National GDP and 10 per cent of the Agricultural GDP, which Nigeria currently tops in livestock production in West Africa.
Abubakar stated this in his keynote address while declaring open the 2-day Summit with theme ‘Positioning the Nigerian Livestock Industry for the 21st Century Economy: A Critical Look at the National Livestock Transformation Plan supported by Sahel Consulting Agricuture and Nutrition Limited.
“Recent estimates show that the livestock sector is endowed with abundant livestock resources with about 26.4 million cattle, 88.2 million goats, 50.3 million sheep, 8.9 million pigs, 465 million chickens, 36.4 million ducks, 3.8 million turkeys, 5.5 million Rabbits, 353,173 camels, and 1,234,284 donkeys (FMARD 2021) thus making the nation the topmost livestock producer in West Africa”, he said.
He pointed that the nation’s livestock value chain had over the years experienced multifarious challenges that have troubled stakeholders and the nation in general, which include low breed quality, poor animal husbandry practices, limited access to quality inputs and finance, weak animal health and extension service delivery, livestock herder and crop farmer conflicts, cattle rustling, banditry, and other security challenges.
“In view of the urgent need to unlock the potential of the livestock industry and fast track its transformation to address the socio-cultural, security and economic challenges currently facing the country, the Ministry is enthused about the potential promises of this summit on National Livestock Transformation Plan and we look forward to the outcome to enhance our interventions and synergy towards successful and speedy transformation of the Livestock sector.”
Earlier, the Chairman of ACAN, John Oba, explained the essence of ACAN’s collaboration with the Ministry of Agric, which is to x-ray the livestock sub-sector as a major pillar of the global food system and a contributor to poverty reduction, food security and agricultural development.
“In Nigeria, livestock play a major role in sustainable food systems, according to experts, the country’s livestock sector has a huge economic potential worth over N33 trillion, such sector should never be ignored.
“That is why development of policies like the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme, NALBIP, National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, and among others are welcome ideas.
The Director of Animal Husbandry Department of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Winnie Lai-Solarin, while speaking on implementation of the NLTP, said since the launch of Plan, government and other stakeholders have not relented to make it a success as far as other policies backing it up have been put in plan.
The Summit was co-organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, and Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria, ACAN.