The federal government says implementing the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) will close the dairy importation gaps and address other challenges to livestock development in Nigeria.
A statement by Juliet Okeh, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the minister Mohammad Abubakar disclosed this at a virtual meeting on Tuesday with commissioners of agriculture across the 36 states.
The meeting included the FCT and other stakeholders on the State Level Project Socialisation on Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES).
The minister, represented by Winnie Lai-Solarin, a director at the Animal Husbandry Services Department, noted that the L-PRES programme was a project to actualise the NLTP.
“The L-PRES programme is a project is targeted at addressing the age-long low investment profile in the sub-sector to improve livestock productivity, resilience, and commercialisation of selected value chains, as well as strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to crisis or emergency,” said the minister.
The L-PRES project is expected to facilitate the achievement of food security, reduce ongoing conflict between farmers and herdsmen and cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the livestock industry.
“We are yet to take full advantage of the regional markets under our influence and have in recent times spent a huge amount of forex on importation of products that can be produced effortlessly in the country,” added the minister. “Importation of dairy products where we spend about $1.3 billion annually according to the CBN (2019) is a prominent example of the above narrative.”
The successful implementation of the NLTP would close importation gaps and address other challenges to livestock development in Nigeria, he said.