Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has said that the Federal Government is ready to expand the contributions of the livestock sub-sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Abubakar made this known during the 57th Annual Congress of the Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) held in Benin, Edo State recently.
The minister noted the roles of veterinarians in increasing the contributions of the sub-sector to the GDP.
The livestock sub-sector, according to Abubakar, is presently contributing five per cent, which he said was inadequate.
The Minister ,however, stated that the sector is confronted with limiting factors such as the burden of diseases like the Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) among others.
“Peste Des Petits Ruminant (PPR), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever, among others, are mitigating against livestock production.
“I am aware that veterinarians in both the public and private sectors are contributing their quota to guarantee optimal health of animals for improved production and productivity.
“To realise sufficiency in the contribution of livestock sub-sector to the Nigerian economy, we need to effectively institutionalise the control of major animal diseases in the country.
“The Federal Executive Council has graciously approved an intervention fund to address the existing gaps in the animal health care service delivery in the country.
“Very soon, the ministry is going to roll out activities in the control of transboundary diseases in the country,” Abubakar added.
NVMA President, Dr Ibrahim Shehu, urged the veterinarians to deploy their professional skills to put an end to the importation of livestock and milk into the country.
Shehu stressed that despite the country’s tremendous potential in livestock production, especially cattle, Nigeria still imports over two metric tonnes of milk worth billions of dollars annually.
“These are challenges, but they also provide opportunities for veterinarians to deploy their professional skills to ameliorate them for the socio-economic development of the country.
“There are job opportunities in producing livestock, livestock-based products, poultry and fish, both for domestic consumption and export. We have the capacity and sense of duty to face these challenges effectively.” NVMA President assured.
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