BY JOSEPH CHIBUEZE, Abuja
Minister of agriculture and rural development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has charged members of the newly elected 5th council of the National Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) to quickly find solution to the recurring clashes between crop farmers and livestock pastoralists.
Nanono who gave this charge yesterday in Abuja while inaugurating the council, said the Institute must not shy away from playing a deserved lead role in proffering the needed solution to the problem of farmer-herder clashes across the country.
According to him, “Land resource is indeed scarce and not expandable, but science has proven that we can generate all we need with renewable agricultural strategies for both crop and livestock production from the available land resource without any form of conflict.
“I strongly call on the Institute to come up with scientific and practicable models that the government can adopt to finally lay to rest this front-burning problem.”
He said the nation needs to quickly transit from this conflict era to becoming a net exporter of premium beef, emulating and surpassing the enviable achievements of countries like Uruguay which has metamorphosed over the recent years into a leading exporter of premium beef to the EU, US and even the Chinese markets. “It took Uruguay years of branding, food safety and quality reforms as well as investment to get to that enviable market leadership. It will take us nothing less,” he said.
While announcing that the Ministry has handed over the National Livestock Training Centre to the Institute, the minister said he was confident that the institute will put the facility to efficient use not only in training but also in the establishment of model units for livestock production that will impact the economy through improved livestock productivity.
Earlier in his opening remarks, chairman of the council, Yusuf Abubakar commended the minister for his interest in the affairs of the institute. He however called for the establishment of an additional animal husbandry research institute to effectively support research efforts of animal scientists in the country.
The 28-member council of NIAS were elected at the institute’s annual conference last year.