Ibadan – Mr Sunny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said on Tuesday that the Federal Government was planning to generate more employment opportunities through livestock production.
Echono said this at the National Animal Production Development Committee (NAPDC) meeting organised by the Federal Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services, Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting being the maiden edition was attended by stakeholders from the 36 states of the federation.
According to him, the development of livestock would go a long way to assist the nation to improve the non-oil sector revenue and make the country self-sufficient in animal production.
“The ministry knows the contribution of the livestock sub-sector to the National Agricultural Gross Domestic Product in 2014.
“It created the Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services (DAPHS) with the mandate to up-scale animal production and make animal protein available to the populace, likewise boost National Income, “ he said.
Echono, who was represented by Mr Ademola Raji, the Director, Production and Husbandry Services in the ministry, said the meeting was conveyed to suggest measures of increasing livestock production.
Prof. Clarence Lakpini, Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Animal Production Research Institute, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said livestock resource in Nigeria was enormous.
“Livestock is enormous in Nigeria but the low productivity has minimised its contribution to overall national economic growth and well being of the citizens of the country,’’ he said.
Lakpini said the nation needed to make use of agriculture to rebase her economy, especially at this time of fall in oil price at the international market.
He, therefore, called for a paradigm shift in the interface between the government officials and professionals to impact positively on stakeholders.
Prof. Israel Adu, the President, Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), urged stakeholders to utilise the outcome of the meeting to grow the livestock sub-sector of the economy.
Also, Dr Olufemi Olaifa, Deputy President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said the nation’s livestock, if properly developed, has the potential to improve the living standard of the people.
Olaifa, a High Chief in the Olubadan Council, therefore, appealed to all tiers of government not to pay lip service to agriculture. (NAN)