The Federal Government, in a bid to improve the genetic makeup of indigenous breeds of animals and develop the livestock value chain, has flagged-off the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP).
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono flagged-off the exercise at the Janguru Primary/Secondary School, Dawanau, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State on Monday.
Nanono noted that the programme was one of the comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms put in place by his ministry to transform the agricultural sector, particularly the livestock value chain in Nigeria.
The minister who expressed optimism said that the programme will improve the genetic makeup of indigenous breeds of animals, especially dairy cattle to achieve increased milk and meat yield of the nation’s national herd.
“It will also improve the livelihood of the pastoral communities and other livestock farmers as well as support the ministry to address the challenges in the livestock value chain particularly, the incessant Herder/ Crop Farmers conflict,” he added.
In his remarks, the programme was targeted at the evolution of hybrid filial generation of dairy cows and other livestock with improved productivity potential and overall genetic improvement of the national herd.
Nanono, however, said that despite great potential in the livestock sector, the nation has not achieved much in ensuring adequate supply of animal protein as means of livelihood and increased income.
He said, “Some of the key challenges like low level of investment, poor animal health services, poor market access, poor fodder supply and livestock management practices have continued to prevent the sector from reaching its full potential.
“Inadequate investments due largely to under-funding from public and private sectors, absence of enabling government policies, suboptimal functioning institutional settings and linkages and regulatory gaps have led to our inability to achieve sustainable transformation in the livestock value chains.
“This administration is poised to systematically address these challenges,” Nanono assured.