From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
The Gombe state chapter of Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called on the state and federal governments to use Gombe as a trial of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
The call was made by the state chairman Modibbo Yahaya, who disclosed that the NLTP which replaces the controversial Ruga project and seeks to settle Fulani pastoralists in grazing reserves has the potential of transforming and sustaining the Livestock sub-sector and ensure maximum economic benefit for the country.
Modibbo stated this in an interview with newsmen at the flag-off of mass vaccination against transboundary animal diseases which was held in Gombe. He disclosed that the mass vaccination which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the North-east zone would have been easier if the herders and other pastoralists were allowed to occupy the grazing area in Wawa/Zange grazing reserve in Gombe state.
He said: “The construction of the full-fledge grazing reserve in Wawa/Zange and Nono, some of the facilities have been completed to about 70 per cent there, so we are pleading that instead of allowing Lizards and other Insects to occupy the facilities the government should put that place to use so that our people will drive gains out of it and if our pastoralists under the benefit of the project you will not see any one of them roaming around outside again”.
Modibbo also commended the state and federal government for initiating the vaccination program which he said was timely and would be of immense benefit and a boost to the livestock sector.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of agriculture and rural, Dr Maimuna Habib the Chief Veterinary Officer of the ministry assured that the ministry and the federal government will continue to support and collaborate with the state in carrying out the annual vaccination for livestock.
She said: “livestock production is a major means of livelihood in Nigeria which employs about 70% of our population and provides economic and food security, nutrition and means of livelihood for the majority of our rural dwellers.
Livestock supplies the much-needed protein for growth and mental development of our children, spendable income and cash reserves for use in times of emergency, and are handy to fulfil a cultural and religious obligation,” Maimuna stated.
On his part, the governor of Gombe state Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya assured of the commitment of his administration to the development of the livestock and the entire agricultural sector. He said: “Today’s occasion demonstrates Government’s commitment to boosts animals’ health, production as well as prevents setbacks in livestock management by control of Trans-Boundary Animal Diseases (TAD).
“These diseases have a high mortality rate and are easily contagious with the potential to spread rapidly, are of great concern as can cause negative socioeconomic and public health consequences in our states and the nation in general,” the governor added.