President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians of his administration’s commitment to reform the livestock sector towards improving security and the economy.
Dr Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said this after the presentation of the report on Livestock Reforms by the Presidential Committee on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the president was committed to including livestock in the Renewed Hope agenda of the administration.
Ganduje said the committee also solicited the establishment of a Ministry of Livestock Development in the federal and subnational tiers of government.
He said the ministry would allow for an efficient and consistent education of herders on new technology as well as development of the sector.
‘’The report grew out of the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry and to provide solutions to the age-long conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.
‘’The low productivity of the sector has made Nigeria an import dependent economy draining scarce foreign reserves used for importing dairy, meat and other livestock products.
‘’Similarly, conflicts result in killing of citizens and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country.
‘’With increasing population, ecological changes such as soil erosion and degradation of grazing areas and changing climates, adopting innovative crops and livestock production practices is no longer luxury but an essential investment,” Ganduje said.
The committee is made up of eminent Nigerians, chaired by Prof. Attahiru Jega, with members from the organised private sector and the academia. It also has practising pastoralists and farmers, representatives of farming and pastoralists communities, civil society organisations and specialists in various fields of livestock development and conflicts management.
The livestock sub-sector is an integral part of food security and national development in Nigeria.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that the sub-sector contributes one-third of the 21 per cent of the GDP of the agricultural sector to the national economy.
Ganduje said the proposals would enhance productivity, improve livelihoods, promote environmental conservation, address substantial causes of conflicts between farmers and pastoralists and help in reducing the high cost of imports of animal products.
‘’There are clear strategies for ensuring inclusion and benefits for all Nigerians devoid of any political, ethnic or regional biases.
‘’It is a strictly development document suitable for guiding federal, State and local government administrations on how best to promote the industry, enhance the quality of lives of the citizens and promote peaceful coexistence and social harmony,” he said. (NAN)