The Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank have unveiled a six-year livestock development initiative.
The initiative, which is tagged: ‘Livestock Productivity and Resilience (L-PRES)’, is with the aim of upscaling production and curbing farmers/ herders’ crises.
The Nation reported that the Chief of Staff to the president, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, during his speech at the inauguration in Abuja, stated that the project will not only address animal breeding in the country, but also climate change.
Gambari noted that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d.), has invited all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to participate in the project.
He said that the country was successful in widespread vaccination of livestock against trans boundary illnesses which helped protect the nation’s livestock sector, with the creation of small animal veterinary clinics across the geo-political zones of the country.
He said, “The L-PRES project would complement our efforts in the sector, as it is set to provide financing for explicitly mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives across all relevant policies and strategies, including the Livestock Master Plan (LMP), the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) and the National Agriculture Transformation Innovation Policy (NATIP)”.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, the L-PRES is designed to address challenges associated with livestock production including lack of access to grazing areas and water drinking points, rustling and transboundary diseases.
He added that it is also aimed at reviving and boosting the business associated with the sector such as milk and dairy products, beef, egg and its byproducts.
The World Bank’s Deputy Country representative, Kathy Whimp, said that the program would receive technical assistance from the World Bank in addition to financial support to implement the initiative.
Whimp, also revealed that the bank is now investing in the development of Nigeria’s livestock for the first time in 20 years.
He assured that the project will help resolve farmers-herders conflicts, generate wealth and employment for young Nigerians along the value chains.