Akure – The Goat Banking Agricultural Development Initiative (GADI), has called on Nigerians to embrace goat banking with a view to creating wealth and improving the nation’s economy.
Mr Kayode Owolabi, the founder of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), made this appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akure on Thursday.
Owolabi described goat banking as a new system of goat rearing in a specially established pastureland, as opposed to the conventional free range system, practised in most African countries.
He said goat banking was an initiative of GADI, where individuals or groups could bring their goats for rearing and small charges would be paid for registration and insurance of the goats.
“The goat banking programme is aimed at enlightening and empowering the people for total economic development, poverty management and self reliance.
“The potential of the project will promote small scale industrial and agro- based industrial development including meat packaging, skin processing, bone meal processing and milk industry,” he said.
He explained that prospective candidates would have to register online with a sum of N2, 500 to become members.
He added that all goats deposited with GADI would be insured compulsorily with Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Company at the rate of 7.5 % of the value of the animals.
“This is to ensure all round security for all the investment of every member within the goat banking programme and each investment insured is, by extension, an indirect insurance for loan to members,” he said.
According to him, the goat banking project comes with its inherent benefits such as micro-financing portfolio for the grassroots participants, mass employment generation, poverty reduction and promotion of small and medium scale enterprises.
The founder of GADI described it as an NGO formed to develop the goat industry in Nigeria through community based organised trade association and cooperative societies.
He said the idea was to meet up with international standards of rearing goat in secluded areas to avoid goats roaming about the streets without adequate care and to gather them for better health care services.
Owolabi also stated that any programme seeking to alleviate poverty must consider the position of women “because of their population and their unique position within the family”.
According to him, goat banking fits naturally as a vehicle for women empowerment, as 80 per cent of goat owners in Nigeria are women.
“Empowering women through goat banking will definitely have multiplier effects on the economic development of the nation, as it will create wealth among the populace.
“Goat owners, who pull their resources together under goat banking group farming will usher in the beginning of a large scale cooperative farming in Nigeria,” Owolabi said.
He said that with better management, insurance and good security for goats that come with goat banking, goat owners would enjoy increased production and income generation. (NAN)