The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP), as a major curb the herders/crop farmers’ conflicts.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, made this known on Monday in Kano during the inauguration of the programme.
A statement on Monday, March 15, in Abuja, by Mrs Eno Olotu, Deputy Director, Information, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, quoted Nanono as saying that the NALBIP is one of the comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms put in place by the ministry to address the development and transformation of the livestock value chain in the agricultural sector.
He said the programme would improve the genetic makeup of the indigenous breeds of animals; especially dairy cattle to achieve increased milk and meat yield of the nation’s national herd.
Nanono also expressed optimism that the programme “will improve the livelihood of the pastoral communities and other livestock farmers; and support the ministry in addressing the challenges in the livestock value chain; particularly, the incessant Herder/Farmers Crop conflict”.
The Minister disclosed that the programme was targeted at the “evolution of hybrid filial generations of dairy cows and other livestock; with improved productivity potential and in the overall genetic improvement to the national herd”.
He explained that the programme would facilitate artificial insemination services through training and the provision of essential tools and inputs to stakeholders.
Nanono expressed regret that despite the great potential in the livestock sector, “we have not achieved much to ensure an adequate supply of animal protein, means of livelihood and increased income”.
He said some of the key challenges, like low level of investment; poor animal health services; poor access to market; as well as poor fodder supply; and livestock Management practices, have continued to prevent the sector from reaching its full potential.
“This administration is poised to systematically address these challenges,” he promised.
Nanono said the exercise has come at a better time due to threats poised on the nation’s security; heightened by frequent conflicts; banditry; and cattle rustling with resultant depletion of the national herd; creating fear and loss of sources of livelihood for Nigerians who depend on agriculture for their sustenance.