NLTP implementation to bridge importation gaps – Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has reiterated that implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) will close the dairy importation gaps and boost livestock development in Nigeria.

The minister stated this at a virtual meeting recently with Commissioners of Agriculture across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and other stakeholders on the State Level Project Socialization on Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES).

The Minister, represented by the Director, Animal Husbandry Services Department in the Ministry, Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin, stated that the L-PRES program, “a project to support the actualization of the NLTP is targeted at addressing the age-long low investment profile in the sub-sector to improve livestock productivity, resilience, and commercialization of selected value chains, as well as strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to crisis or emergency”.

He  reaffirmed that the L-PRES project would facilitate the achievement of food security, reduce incessant conflict between farmers and herdsmen and cushion the effect of a COVID-19 Pandemic on the livestock industry in alignment with Government strategies and policies including, the Promotion of Climate smart livestock production and Productivity, Expansion of Rural economy for employment and income generation, Promotion of exports and reduction in the importation of livestock and livestock products, and Involvement empowerment of women, Youth, and Vulnerable people.

According to the Minister, “It is glaring with the current priorities in the World’s food supply systems, that the next issues of focus will be animal protein supply chains and its nexus with global welfare and security. Nations’ ability to provide good quality and affordable animal proteins has not only been linked with their pecuniary status, it has been confirmed to have direct relationship with human capital development and intellectual quotient”.

“Although Nigeria Livestock subsector provides about 36.5% of the total protein intake of Nigerians, it also contributes about 8-10% of the Agricultural GDP and 5% of the National Gross Domestic Product and has been a key contributor to poverty reduction, especially in rural areas”, the minister stated.

“We are yet to take full advantage of the regional markets under our influence and have in recent times spent huge amounts of forex on importation of products that can be produced effortlessly in the country. Importation of dairy products where we spend about US$1.3 Billion annually according to the CBN (2019) is a prominent example of the above narrative.”

Country Director of World Bank, Dr. Shubham Chadhri, in his goodwill message, said the programme is designed to help the Nigerian livestock sector realize it’s full potentials, urging state governments to key into it, adding that implementing the programme across the country would go a long way in the reduction of poverty, providing job opportunities, and grow the nation’s GDP.

He reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to partner with the federal and state governments for the realization of the L-PRES project in Nigeria.

Dr Chadhri commended President Buhari for promoting the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) as a national priority and encouraged the state governments to embrace the programme

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