Nigeria has the capacity to generate about N13 trillion annually from the livestock sector. This was disclosed by the registrar, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Prof Eustace Iyayi.
Iyayi who spoke at the 9th Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) joint Annual Meeting in Abuja, said that the animal sector can contribute greatly to the economy of the nation if properly harnessed, saying the industry can produce trillions along value chains.
The meeting has as its theme: Improved Technology: A key strategy for enhanced livestock productivity and national economic development.
He said that the focus of the meeting was to look at the possibility of deploying technology and innovation for improved animal production.
Iyayi said that many challenges that had negatively impacted on the industry includes lack of funding, clear policies and lack of incentives for the primary producers and other stakeholders in the value chains.
He appealed to the federal government to focus on the industry in order to create jobs for the youth and bring them into agribusiness value chain.
In his paper presentation at the meeting, the executive secretary of TETFUND, Prof E.S. Bogoro, said the challenges in the dairy subsector in Nigeria should be seen as an opportunity for the producers and all actors across the value chains nodes.
He said the country needs a comprehensive and enterprising first national livestock breeding policy. “All hands must be on deck to deliver this policy to the community of practice in Nigeria livestock sub sector in a matter of months not year!” he said.
He also called for the domestication of the FAO’s Global Plan of Action (GPA) on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) which he said must be achieved for Nigeria’s vacant position on the global livestock productivity map to be occupied again.
The joint meeting also featured the induction of newly qualified animal scientists into the institute.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who was honoured along with the minister of agriculture and rural development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, with the fellowship award of the Institute, while thanking NIAS for the recognition, said that Nigeria cannot grow its livestock sector without the adoption of relevant technologies.
Deputy governor of Imo state, Placid Njoku, said that the animal sector was a huge sector and if properly explored could provide more funding for Nigerian economy than oil on annual basics.