The Federal Government and the World Bank have unveiled a six-year livestock development initiative, Livestock Productivity and Resilience (L-PRES), with the aim of upscaling production and curbing farmers/ herders’ crises.
Speaking at the inauguration of the project in Abuja, the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the president, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, stated that the project will address climate change as it affects animal breeding in the country.
Gambari noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has invited all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 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.
According to him, small animal veterinary clinics have been constructed in states 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)”.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, said 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, Ms Kathy Whimp, said that the program would receive technical assistance from the World Bank in addition to financial support to implement the initiative.
Whimp, who stated that the bank is now investing in the development of Nigeria’s livestock for the first time in 20 years, said the project will help resolve farmers-herders conflicts, generate wealth and employment for young Nigerians along the value chains.