The Federal Government of Nigeria has started the process of animal census, traceability and identification and claims the exercise will help in getting accurate data on livestocks and well as tackling issues of cattle rustling.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, disclosed this at the end of the Fourth Global Dairy Congress Africa which was held in Abuja over the weekend.
Bello who was represented by the Director, Animal Husbandry Services, Bright Wategire, said:
“We will continue to intervene in those areas that are important to us. And, we will try as much as possible to improve on artificial intelligence and sustain the issue of pasture production all year round. It is a critical area because, without pasture, animals will not grow. We have started something in animal identification and traceability system. We are aware of the advanced stages that are available.
“Aside helping us reduce issues of cattle rustling, It will help us to get reliable data of animals that we have in this country. It helps improve trade relationship with other countries.
“The advantages are enormous; we are at the tail end of concluding our national dairy and breeding policy.”
Chairman of the congress, Dr. Ayok Celestine and participants unanimously urged the government, to establish effective price stability support mechanism to attract and protect investment in dairy farming and also, called for robust intervention in addressing infrastructure deficits militating against the sub sector.
Dr. Celestine suggested an upgrade of genetic potential of indigenous dairy breeds through crossbreeding and selection in order to enhance productivity and profitability of emerging dairy ventures in Africa.
He insisted that livestock extension services and innovation platforms should be mainstreamed to enhance farmers’ capacity and competence in dairy production processing.
“The simulate functional systems in other climes should be studied to speed up value chain progress and profitability, while allied institutions to boost availability and quality of support services and input should be strengthened.”
He expressed concern over the lack of effective waste recycling systems in African countries, and suggested refrain in the choice of dairy packaging; to avoid potential environmental consequences.