By Palma Ileye
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD and Stakeholders have joined the rest of the World to commemorate World Farm Animals Day and World Animal Day while advocating for climate smart Agriculture.
The commemoration with the theme, “GOOD ANIMAL HUSBANDRY PRACTICE IS CLIMATE SMART” was organised at the Ministry’s premises in Abuja.
In his speech, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri said that the commemoration of World Animal Day reminded all to examine the animal husbandry practices in relation to the environment in the ever-changing climate situations with the view to adapt and mitigate its effects as we strive for productivity, the profitability of production, and the associated businesses.
Shehuri pointed out that the Climate Smart Agriculture strategies which included sustainable livestock production systems was to address environmental issues while ensuring improved productivity, enhanced resilience, reduced greenhouse gas emissions amongst others.
Speaking further, he revealed that the World Animal Day was officially adopted in May 1931, by the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence, Italy, where October 4th was declared as the day for global Commemoration of World Animal Day, while World Farm Animals Day was declared on October 2nd, 1983.
In her remarks, the Director Animal Husbandry Services Department, Mrs. Winnie Solarin noted that the mission of the World Animal Day was to raise awareness, sustainability and profitability of animal production as well as animal protein in nutrition for healthy living.
The Director emphasized that the mission was in tandem with the mandate of Department of Animal Husbandry, DAHS and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, in general, stressing that World Animal Day embraces all animals including domestic animals.
She noted that the unique concerns of each, in every country but with emphasis on animals for slaughter as meat as well as those kept for other socio-economic purposes such as farming and transport.
According to her, “In many countries, World Animal Day is now being celebrated by various organizations, government bodies. These include: Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt, SPARE, Animals Lebanon and Animal Naturalis Colombia. The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust, HART and the Sudanese Animal Care & Environmental Organization to mention but a few”.
In his good will message, the Registrar, Nigeria Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, Prof. Eustace A. Iyayi said that animals play a vital role in Agriculture and other sectors hence generates income for the economy.
He reiterated that this is the first time Nigeria was celebrating World Animal day with other countries, pointing out that, what we are celebrating today is to create awareness and sustain the economy.
Highlight of the event, was the visitation of the Hon. Minister of State, FMARD, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, the Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe and other officials to various animal value chains at the exhibition stand.