From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP) has identified improvement in livestock production as a veritable measure to rescue the nation’s economy and put it on the path of sustainable growth.
“We stand on a threshfold of dwindling economic fortunes occasioned by decreasing revenue from crude oil, coupled with negative economic effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic,“ the NSAP National President, Prof. Francis Ojariafe Abeke, said on Monday in Dutsinma, Katsina State.
He spoke at the opening ceremony of the association’s 46th annual conference, at the Federal University, Dutsinma (FUDMA).
According to him, “there is no doubt that the COVID- 19 pandemic taken a negative toll on the economy of individual households, states and the nation.
“There is high level of inflation and dwindling purchasing power of our people.
“The value of the Naira keeps decreasing in relation to other major currencies, leading to high cost of goods and services including livestock products.
“Food, especially animal protein, is fast disappearing from our tables, resulting in poor mental and physical development of many Nigerians.
“If there is a time to redouble our efforts and channel our energies and resources to improving livestock production with a view to accelerating growth of the economy, it is now.”
In his keynote address at the programme, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, advocated a national livestock development plan, to among other things, enable pastoralists live better lives and enhanced shelter for their animals.
As Ibrahim put it, “the value of their holdings will also improve through the availability of good pasture, veterinary care and enhanced body mass and milk production.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, FUDMA Vice Chancellor, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi, urged the conference to come UPI with concrete recommendations on how to tackle issues of clashes between farmers and herders, animal rustling and associated crimes, “which constitute a threat to our national unity and harmonious coexistence and social integrity.“