The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Associations of Nigeria (MACBAN) has commended the Federal Government National Livestock Transformation Plan of (NLTP) as safer and would holistically solves the historic challenges that has deprived the pastoralists from producing high quality beef and dairy products for the Nigerian market.
The association in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, on Friday in Abuja said the new NLTP 2019-2028 approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) is the right framework for delivering on this vision.
Ngelzarma said NLTP will modernises the industry through handholding the pastoralists and allowing ranches to develop organically with pastoralists as core participants in the livestock production chain which will ultimately impact wealth creation and knowledge transfer mechanisms.
He, however, opined that transforming Nigeria’s livestock sub sector from a basic, subsistence low technology, conflict-stricken status into a world class, productive, safe and profitable industry devoid of conflicts requires the involvement of all stakeholders.
“Nigeria is today at a critical crossroads regarding how to restructure and transform its livestock industry. A restructured industry will produce milk, cheese, dairy supplements and a range of other products that make up a well-functioning dairy and beef cluster.
“Such a transformed livestock economy will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs from extension workers to ranchers to suppliers of forage to veterinarians etc. This industry estimated to be worth over a trillion Naira in market value, can by 2028 serve Nigeria and the broader African market given the emerging opportunities engendered by the new Free Trade Agreement across Africa,” he said.
The association however, frowned at CBN proposal for dairy processors to come up with plan on how they will develop their dairy farms of at least 10,000 hectares with the plan to give cheap CBN loans at 9 per cent interest.
The association said such move is disastrous as it completely disregards the federal government’s approved NLTP that clearly outlines the necessary steps needed to transform the livestock subsector over 10 years in line with the desires and aspirations of all consulted stakeholders.
“And also disregarded the need for the federal government regulations and incentives for the roles of all partners in the transformation processes to achieve the goals of peaceful coexistence between crop farmers and pastoralists as well as enhancement of the pastoral productivity through organic modernization of the pastoral production base with capacity to retain their cultural livestock linkage in modernity and innovation for generations to come.
“Secret, coerced, backroom deals struck based on fear and threats including withdrawal of access to foreign exchange cannot be the model for solving a problem of this magnitude, that is at the heart of a growing security crisis and existential dimensions that requires long-term strategic investment and execution framework by the very nature of livestock production characteristics.
“Therefore, CBN should in all sincerity come to the table and join the all-inclusive reformist efforts underway under the NLTP rather than reinvent the wheel once again,” the group said
It however commended the CBN planned policy restricting allocation of foreign exchange (FOREX) for milk importation into Nigeria, saying although it is a desired long-term outcome where local production substitutes importation, but that implementation of such a policy requires a robust strategy that addresses underlying issues.