The federal government in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has commenced preliminary implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) in Niger State with a model ranch.
The three-hectare model ranch located in Sheyi Grazing Reserve was built as part of ongoing efforts by the federal government to address conflicts between farmers and headers and transform the livestock sector for national development.
Founded by the FAO, the project has a solar powered borehole, perimeter chain-link fence, two hectares of pasture, irrigation facilities and accommodation for extension workers, training shed, hay barn, crush and pasture development.
As a key stakeholder in the NLTP implementation process, the FAO through a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) is piloting the NLTP and its attendant benefits to households as the outcome of the project targeted to increase household incomes through improved livestock productivity, strategic marketing and sustainable value chains.
The national consultant to the project, Jazuli Bichi, said the increase in trans-human movement of animal was largely due to recent climate change and variability which had severely affected the traditional grazing lands that were never re-seeded with good quality forage materials.
To address the challenges in the livestock sector, Bichi added that the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development requested the FAO to provide technical assistance for the implementation of the NLTP in some selected pilot states.
FAO desk officer, Dr Baba Ibrahim who spoke for the permanent secretary, ministry of livestock and fishery, Niger State, Dr Jonathan Wasa, said capacity building of pastoralists, farmers and others along the value chain had also commenced.