The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has harped on the need for the application of technology and innovation in order to address factors limiting the growth of Nigeria’s livestock industry.
NIAS, which estimated the livestock sub-sector to be currently worth about N13 trillion, added that the step would help to promote production, processing and agricultural trade through effective competitiveness, market access and penetration.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NIAS, Prof Eustace Iyayi, made these observations at a press conference ahead of the 9th edition of the Annual Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN)-NIAS Joint Meeting.
This year’s meeting, scheduled for November 15th -18th in Abuja, has been tagged: Improved Technology: A Key Strategy for Enhanced Livestock Productivity and National Economic Development.
The CEO noted that the meeting would seek ways to address the aforementioned challenges.
Iyayi noted that the livestock sector has been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as the lack of support from stakeholders.
The professor also decried the exorbitant import duties on animal products and their derivatives in the face of obvious comparative advantage, adding that the practice was unsustainable due to dwindling petro-dollars.
He explained, “The growth of Nigeria animal husbandry has been stunted, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of necessary support despite a large number of trained animal scientists, with 6000 registered with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science and the huge potential for youth employment and indeed national economic rebirth.”
“[We] animal scientists believe that in order to arrest youth restiveness and perennial farmer-herder conflict in the post-COVID-19 period, the application of technology and innovation to promote production, processing and agricultural trade through effective competitiveness, market access and penetration that will positively affect our national economy, is a sine qua non,” the don added.