Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr. Andrew Kwasari has said Nigeria loses about $14 billion annually to the incessant conflicts between farmers and herders.
Kwasari revealed this in Abuja on Tuesday during his presentation at the Summit on National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) with the theme: “Positioning The Nigerian Livestock Sector For 21st Century Economy, “jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN).
To resolve the lingering crises between farmers and herders as well as reposition the livestock sector in the country, Kwasari, said the Federal Government in collaboration with states have begun the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP)2019–2028.
He noted that already 22 States have sent letters of expression of interest to the office of the Chairman of the National Economic Council and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, adding that 10 States have set up the States Livestock Transformation Office.
As part of the implementation strategy, he said four states have identified and mapped out the gazetted grazing reserves in their domain as well as taken off the implementation of the NLTP in earnest.
These states, according to him, include Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa and Kaduna.
Also speaking, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, explained that the two-day Summit was organised with the aim of enlightening stakeholders, investors and the general public on the inherent investment opportunities that abound in the livestock sub-sector, dispelling misconceptions about the real intentions of Government for initiating the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) and to stimulate active participation of Nigerians to reap the full benefits of NLTP in the short, medium and long terms
Abubakar pointed out that the bulk of the Nigerian labour force is engaged in various forms of agricultural enterprises especially along the livestock value chain with over 30% of women and young adults depending largely on livestock for their income, livelihoods and sustenance, adding that the livestock sector remains a major component of the agricultural economy and plays a significant role in the overall national economy.
He revealed that the livestock sector accounts for about 2-5% of the National Gross Domestic Product(GDP) and 10% of the Agricultural GDP.
He said: “Recent estimates show that the livestock sector is endowed with abundant livestock resources with about 26.4 million cattle, 88.2 million goats, 50.3 million sheep, 8.9 million pigs, 465 million chickens, 36.4 million ducks, 3.8 million turkeys, 5.5 Rabbits, 353,173 camels, and 1,234,284 donkeys (FMARD 2021), thus making the nation the topmost livestock producer in West Africa”.