The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, has reiterated the necessity of have effective policies in the Nigeria livestock industry, saying commercialisation of livestock and livestock products undoubtedly requires adequate and effective policies and legislations.
Umakhihe stated this on Thursday during the meeting for the validation of the National Animal Breeding Policy Document in Abuja.
He said validation meeting is organized to ensure that the National Animal Breeding policy document meets the set required process of a policy document and come out with a robust final copy for executive approval.
According to him, the National Animal Breeding Policy gives a policy framework for improving the productivity of the livestock sub-sector in a well-planned sustainable manner across the various agro-ecological zones of the country.
“The task before us at this meeting therefore should be to review and address how to develop and scale up our efforts to ensure accelerated progress towards increasing availability and accessibility of wholesome animal protein for all Nigerians as well as for export. This will not only increase employment opportunities but also improve livelihood and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“In order to achieve this vision it is imperative that we work with a wide range of national and international stakeholders to speed up transformation and repositioning of our agriculture and indeed livestock, to meet contemporary aspirations of wholesomeness and commercialization for increased farmer and national income as well as wellbeing of the nation.
“Other challenges hampering the livestock sub-sector include inadequate availability of feed and fodder and the non-sustainability of National Livestock Investigation and Breeding Projects in addition to lack of provision of critical infrastructure to genetic improvement of our animals. To address these factors, it was deemed as a matter of crucial importance to follow other nations to craft a National Animal Breeding Policy,” he said.
Welcoming the delegates, the Director, Animal Husbandry Services, Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin, said the policy document contains guidelines and strategies for the sustainable development of the livestock sub-sector which was reviewed sometimes in 2020 to further capture input from stakeholders for better buy-in and implementation.