Katsina, June 19, 2023: The Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP) expresses belief that improving livestock production can rescue economy of the country and put it on the path of growth.
The NSAP President, Prof. Francis Abeke, made the assertion at the opening ceremony of the 48th Annual Conference and Golden Jubilee of the society on Monday in Katsina.
The event was organised by NSAP in collaboration with the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), Katsina State.
The 2023 NSAP conference and golden jubilee was tagged, “Animal Agriculture: A Sustainable Path to Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Food Security”.
According to him, a nation that has the vision to grow must be food secure, adding that, “Hunger breeds anger, and a major index of development is how much food the people have.
“Today, Nigeria is not food secured and many anti- social upheavals experienced in the country may be linked to hunger and starvation.
“Dear participants, food, especially animal protein food is fast disappearing from our tables, resulting in poor mental and physical development of many Nigerians.
“It is my candid opinion that if there is a time to redouble our efforts and channel our energies and resources to improve livestock production, with a view to accelerating the growth of the economy, it is now.
“Some challenges facing increased livestock production in Nigeria include low level of technical inputs, poor production and bio-secure environment leading to substandard products, and few modern processing facilities.
“Also, poor nutrition, social conflicts, low productivity of our indigenous animals, poor capacity utilisation, low investment as well as high production cost among others,” he said.
He explained that the conference shall come out with workable solutions to these teething challenges and forge a way forward.
To achieve their common goal of improved livestock production and food security and for export, Abeke called on all and sundry to work hard and be dedicated to revamping the subsector of the economy.
“We should tap into the livestock production capacity of the states, especially Katsina state, a veritable state with one of the highest livestock populations in Nigeria.
“I further call on government at all levels to resuscitate this overlooked and abandoned cornerstone because, doing so shall save us, the economy and the next generation,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the FUDMA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu-Bichi, said Katsina State was one of the largest producers of livestock, especially the ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goat in Nigeria.
According to him, this has contributed immensely to the economy of the state and Nigeria.
“The management of the University has placed so much premium on Agriculture from inception with special emphasis on Animal production.
“The Department of Animal Science is one of the most viable Departments in the University with a well-equipped laboratory and standard Livestock Farm,” he said.
In his remarks, the Governor of the state, Malam Dikko Radda, represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Mukhtar Saulawa, expressed his administration’s commitment to agriculture.
According to him, during the campaign, one of the areas he promised to focus on was agriculture, adding that since his inauguration on May 29, he has visited about three agricultural sites in the state.