The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has held a national livestock transformation conference in Abuja to look at issues affecting the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP)-a Public–Private Partnership initiative to strengthen the livestock subsector.
Stakeholders opined that the challenges confronting the growth of the livestock value chains are manifold, including misconception and misinformation about the concept of the programme.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar who spoke extensively at the confab listed the challenges of the sector to 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 addition to the listed challenges, the minister admitted that “inconsistent government policies, poorly functioning institutional settings, linkages, regulations and standards, have failed to bring about significant and sustainable transformation in the sector and limited impact on livelihood of actors along the sector’s value chains.
“Indeed, the potential promises of the sector have come under greater threat in recent times with the pervasive insurgence and conflicts in North-Eastern, Middle Belt and many other parts of the country coupled with the overwhelming consequences and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and droughts. The waves of destruction and demographic dislocation are so huge and unprecedented that livestock businesses are significantly disrupted with animals wiped out in many instances.”
Dr Andrew Kwasari, the Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, expressed concern that many people do not understand the programme and continue to spread miss information about it, adding that there are documents detailing all the components of the programme.
While given update on the implementation so far, he said 10 of the 22 states who indicated interested to participate in the programme have already set up the livestock transformation office.
He said four states have identified and mapped the gazatted grazing reserves in their domain including setting up office to receive the FG seed fund and are ready for takeoff.
The project is expected to gulp N100bn of which the federal government is expected to provide about 40 percent as seed funds while the states and private sector investments are to drive the system in the implementing states.
In addition to all the effort from the presidency, Dr Abubakar said to address these multi-faceted challenges and unlock the potentials of the nation’s livestock resources, the federal government was “collaborating with a wide range of national and international stakeholders to speed up transformation in the livestock sector and meet contemporary aspirations for increased productivity and resilience.”
He said that the outcome of such collaboration is the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) already launched and being implemented by state actors and non-state actors with national and state governments.