Livestock programme key to Nigeria’s food security – Kwara govt

Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman

The successful implementation of the National Livestock Transformation programme (NLTP) of the Federal Government would drive productivity in agriculture, improve standards of living and help the country achieve self sufficiency in food production, Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin said on Monday.

Declaring open a three-day training workshop on the NLTP ahead of its implementation in the state, Afolabi-Oshatimehin explained that Kwara was participating in the programme to empower the citizens, guarantee food security and boost productivity.

“In achieving the Plan, Kwara has assembled a robust and highly experienced project management team. The team will be supervised by a steering committee chaired by the secretary to the state government. This shows the high premium the state places on the NLTP,” she said at the event attended by experts and some stakeholders in the state.

“This training is very important. It is aimed at training and equipping the enumerators on how to effectively aggregate data needed for the National Livestock Transformation Programme. After the training, you should all have adequate skills needed to gather the data from the field.”

Nigeria imports $1.3 Billion worth of dairy and milk products and another mind-blowing $8Billion on Beef (both Live and processed) annually and Kwara State is strategically positioned to take advantage of opportunities inherent in Livestock value chain, she said.

“Our cost of production of a Kilogramme of beef estimated at $6/Kg is one of the world’s highest, compared to $4/Kg in Netherlands and $2.5/Kg in India. In Israel, some cows give up to 40 Litres of milk/day; Europe and the Americas, it averages 26-30 Litres/day. Our cows produce just 1-1.5Litres/day,” she added, underscoring the need for ranching.

Afolabi-Oshatimehin said the government had allocated resources to support quick roll out of the programme and urged the enumerators to put in their best, assuring them that hardwork and dedication would be rewarded.

About 3000 N-Power Agro Corps were being trained to take the necessary data that would help in implementing the NLTP, according to her.

Project Management Team Lead of Kwara NLTP, Sheriff Salau, said the plan was designed by the Federal Government to develop value chain in the livestock sector as well as address herders-farmers clashes across the country.

“The federal government in its wisdom is trying to come up with a win-win for farmers and herders to live in harmony. Knowing the paucity of funds at state level, the federal government has decided to support participating states in facilitating the development along the value chains,” Salau explained.

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