The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, says the Nigeria’s Livestock subsector has huge economic potentials worth more than N33 trillion annually that ought to be explored.
Umakhihe said this at the inauguration of the Edo chapter of Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) held on Monday in Benin.
He noted that the subsector was estimated to contribute about 17 per cent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5 per cent of the National GDP.
He said: “As we all know the livestock sector is very vital to the socioeconomic 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 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.
“I urge you all to take advantage of this department to explore the huge potential in the animal husbandry subsector,” he said.
Also speaking, the Registrar of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Prof.Eustace Iyayi, commended the state government for creating a department of animal husbandry.
“As an institute, we are going to key into the mandate of helping the state grow livestock to harness the potential in the sector.
“I am confident that at a time when the Nigeria’s oil industry is failing, we will be able to tap into the N33 trillion huge potential earnings in the value chain,” he said.
The National President of ASAN, Raymond Isiadiino, in his goodwill massage, applauded the initiative to inaugurate the Edo chapter of the association.
Isiadiino noted that in face of daunting challenges, the association had made landmark contributions to the advancement of the sub-sector and projected the animal scientist as a professional with unlimited potential.
The Special Adviser to Gov. Godwin Obaseki on Livestock, Mr Bashiru Kadiri, commended the initiative to inaugurate the Edo chapter of ASAN
Kadiri said: ” no system can develop if we do not define who plays what role and how”.
According to him, the governor believes that the livestock and the entire animal husbandry must thrive hence, the implementation of the Edo state livestock initiative programme in the state.
High points of the event was the inauguration of the ASAN state executives to be chaired by Mr Peter Aikhuomobhgbe.(NAN)