Despite its huge presence, livestock business contributes only 10% to Nigeria’s agriculture GDP —Minister

Despite its huge presence, livestock business contributes only 10% to Nigeria’s agriculture GDP —Minister

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THE Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari has lamented that despite the huge livestock bsuiness presence in the country, it contributes only 10 percent to the country’s agriculture Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Senator Kyari stated this on the occasion of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) 70th anniversary and Official launch of the VCN digitisation projects.

The minister, however, expressed optimism that this narrative will change when the veterinary profession is rid of quacks.

“As you are aware, despite the large livestock population in Nigeria, the country reaps only 10 percent of its agricultural GDP in livestock. I believe we can change the narrative if the quality of our veterinary services is improved upon and the menace of quackery is checked.

“The introduction of this digital national veterinary practice licence, the veterinary seal and the geomapping in veterinary practice premises will greatly reduce quackery in Nigeria and thereby increase productivity in our livestock sector,” the minister said.

He added that the tech innovations are aimed at creating a conducive environment for the transformation of our national animal health and veterinary practices ecosystem, in line with global best practices.

“The resultant impact will support our renewed effort geared towards ensuring peaceful coexistence, economic development and food and nutrition security for the growing Nigerian population,” the minister noted.

He said it is only the qualified and registered veterinarians who are up to date in practice that will be issued the licence and the seal.

“Presently, the ministry has identified a comprehensive livestock development program and, therefore, initiated the national livestock transformation plan.

“In this line, the issues of diseases and pests control services are handled with keen interest as this guarantees the protection of national herds and flocks against the burden of diseases, thereby preserving the livestock resources for improved production and productivity,” Senator Kyari added.

President of VCN, Aishatu Abubakar Baju, recalled that President Bola Tinubu had issued a compelling challenge through the Renewed Hope agenda on national livestock reform.

She said the president looks to the veterinary community for guidance in transforming the livestock sector to enhance food security.

“In response, the VCN is aligning with this vision, ensuring the highest level of service delivery by veterinarians and veterinary professionals. This alignment aims to boost livestock productivity and effectively address emerging and re-emerging diseases, especially zoonosis in our country.

“In the light of these challenges, the VCN is taking significant steps to elevate the quality of our veterinarians and veterinary professionals, in line with the national reforms.

“Today, we introduce four cutting-edge technology solution; the veterinary seal, the veterinary app, digitised veterinary practice license and geo-mapping of veterinary practice premises,” she said.

The innovations, according to her, are the council’s response to combat quackery in the profession and enhance the efficiency of veterinarians and veterinary professionals in service delivery.

She encouraged veterinary professionals to embrace these innovations and collaborate  with the council to eradicate quackery in the country.

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