In order to address the development and transformation of the livestock value chain, the Federal Government has inaugurated the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP) as part of its National Livestock Transformation Plan. Livestock Agriculture plays a key role in Nigeria’s agro-economy, contributing to job creation and food security. Some of the key issues that need to be addressed include low levels of investment, poor animal health services, difficulty with access to markets, poor fodder supply, and livestock management practices.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, said that the programme would improve the genetic makeup of the animals, especially dairy cattle, to increase milk production and meat yields. In addition, the livelihood of pastoral communities and livestock farmers would be improved. The aim is also to curb the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country. There have been clashes over the years across the country in Benue, Enugu, Plateau, and Kaduna States, just to mention a few.
There is need for increased funding from the public and private sectors as well as enabling government policies if this programme is to achieve its set goals.. In addition, the regulatory gaps also need to be bridged to achieve sustainable transformation in the livestock value chain.
The programme is also targeted at the “evolution of hybrid filial generations of dairy cows and other livestock”, according to Nanono (selective breeding). In addition, the facilitation of artificial insemination services through training and provision of essential tools for stakeholders is included in the programme’s objectives.
Kano State has been chosen for the pilot scheme of the programme, and the State Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Murtala Sule Garo, revealed that the state has comparative advantage in livestock population and vast arable land.