Nigeria: Technology, Innovation Will Galvanise N13 Trillion Livestock Industry - NIAs

30 October 2020

Abuja — The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, Thursday, disclosed that the nation's N13 trillion livestock industry could be galvanized into a major revenue-generating avenue with the application of technology and innovations.

This was made known by the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, NIAS, Prof Eustace Iyayi, at a press conference ahead of the 9th ASAN-NIAS Annual Joint Meeting holding from Nov 15th -18th in Abuja, with the theme, 'Improved Technology: A Key Strategy for Enhanced Livestock Productivity and National Economic Development', which is tagged Abuja 2020.

According to Iyayi, the annual meeting is organised by the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, and Animal Science Association of Nigeria, ASAN, which is the umbrella body of all animal scientists in the country.

He also explained why the conference is important as it will address challenges facing the animal husbandry industry in Nigeria, which over 6, 000 registered members will brainstorm on solutions to the challenges at the 3-day meeting.

He made it known that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture, Dr Abdullahi Adamu, will be in attendance, while the Executive Secretary, TETFund, Prof Elias Bogoro, will deliver the keynote address, and there will be the induction of Fellows into the College of Animal Science, and other activities.

He also called on stakeholders in the livestock industry to participate fully at the conference.

He said: "This year's conference is the 9th Joint Annual Meeting to be organised by the two bodies with the objective of addressing issues and challenges facing the animal husbandry in Nigeria. The theme of this year's conference is - Improved Technology: A Key Strategy for Enhanced Livestock Productivity and National Economic Development.

"The meeting which was originally scheduled for November 1-4 will now hold from 15-18 November 2020. This is the sequel to the nationwide protest and resultant security challenges.

"The growth of Nigeria animal husbandry has been stunted, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of necessary support, despite a large number of trained animal scientists, with 6000 registered with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science and the huge potential for youth employment and indeed national economic rebirth. The value of the industry currently stands at about N13 trillion.

"The animal scientist believes that in order to arrest youth restiveness and perennial farmer-herder conflict in the post-COVID-19 period, the application of technology and innovation to promote production, processing and agricultural trade thought effective competitiveness, market access and penetration that will positively affect our national economy is a sine qua non."

He also lamented high import bills on animal products and its derivatives in the face of obvious comparative advantage, which is not sustainable due to dwindling petro-dollars.

"Therefore the outcome of the discussion at the meeting will be useful for policy alignment by the government will help engender developmental research, innovation platforms and practitioners engagement that will stimulate town-gown interaction for an economic renaissance with animal agriculture as a pivot", he stated.

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