The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, said that the cattle subsector in Nigeria has a significant economic potential worth over N33 trillion yearly.
Speaking during the opening of the Edo chapter of the Animal Science Association of Nigeria, in Benin City, Edo State, on Monday, Umakhihe advised that the sector should be explored and utilized.
He stated that it was estimated that the subsector contributed 5% of the national GDP and around 17% of the agricultural GDP.
He said: “As we all know, the livestock sector is very vital to the socio-economic development of the country and it represents an important source of high-quality animal protein.
“It provides about 36.5 per cent of the total protein intake of Nigerians, generates employment, income, and earns foreign exchange for the country.
“The Edo State government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is interested in improving livestock production, hence the creation of Animal Husbandry Department in the ministry.
The Department of Animal Husbandry was established by the state government, which was praised for doing so by Prof. Eustace Iyayi, Registrar of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, or NIAS.
He said: “As an institute, we are going to key into the mandate of helping the state grow livestock to harness the potentials in the sector.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki’s special livestock adviser, Bashiru Kadiri, applauded the decision to launch the ASAN chapter in Edo.
Kadiri said: “No system can develop if we do not define who plays what role and how.”
In his message of goodwill, Raymond Isiadiino, the national president of ASAN, praised the initiative to launch the association’s Edo State Chapter.