Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
, FMARD, has said that the business of the Institute is not negotiable in maintaining the safety of the lives of animals, curbing the practice of quarks and building a globally competitive trade in the livestock sub-sector.
In a statement signed by Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Director, Information, Minister of FMARD, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono while inaugurating the 5th Council of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science
in Abuja, stated that the business of the Institute is not negotiable in maintaining the safety of the lives of animals, curbing the practice of quarks and building a globally competitive trade in the livestock sub-sector.
He said the regulations have been in tune with the Agricultural Promotion Policy, the National Policy framework, for driving the growth and development of the agricultural sector by the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nanono explained that the nation needs to quickly transit from the current conflict era to becoming a net exporter of premium beef, emulating and surpassing the enviable achievements of countries like Uruguay which has metamorphosed over the recent years, into a leading exporter of premium beef to the EU, US and even the Chinese markets.
“It took Uruguay years of branding, food safety and quality reforms as well as investment to get to that enviable market leadership, It will take us nothing less,” he said.
Nanono also pointed out that Land resource is indeed scarce and not expandable, but that science has proven that we can generate all we need with renewable agricultural strategies for both crop and livestock production from the available land resource without any form of conflict.
He tasked the Council to come up with scientific and practicable models that the government can adapt to finally lay to rest this front-burning problem.
The minister observed that there is still a lot of ground to be covered if the Institute must fully deliver on its mandate and remain relevant as a key regulatory body in the livestock subsector.
“We must forge ahead without losing track of the achievement of the past,” he observed.
Nanono reiterated that the Institute must not shy away from playing a deserved lead role in proffering the needed solution to the current burning issue of incessant conflicts between herders and sedentary farming communities in Nigeria.
He further informed that the Ministry has handed over the National Livestock Training Centre to the Institute.
“I am confident that you will put the facility to efficient use not only in training but also in the establishment of model units for livestock production that will impact the economy through improved livestock productivity, he added.
The agric boss also lauded the work of the Institute is collaborating with the International Finance Corporation under the Livestock Micro-reforms in Agribusiness (L-MIRA) and other agencies in the establishment of standards in the feed and hatchery sectors.
In his address, the President, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NAIS, Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar said NAIS has a crucial role to play in the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, of the Federal Government.
According to him, ‘’ we have a collection of the requisite technical expertise, in virtually all disciplines of animal husbandry to effectively facilitate the implementation of this plan.”
Prof Abubakar appealed for the establishment of additional animal husbandry research institutes in the country.
Also, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Mr Ime Umoh urged the committee members to work as a team and take the assignment as a call to national duty where national interest is prioritized.