By Michael Olugbode in Damaturu
The National President of the Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN), Hon. Khalil Bello, has called on the Federal Government to establish a Ministry of Animal Resources to solve the numerous crisis facing the nation’s livestock industry.
Bello gave the advice while addressing journalists in Damaturu, Yobe state capital on Saturday.
He said the Ministry of Animal Resources will be an antidote to numerous problems confronting pastoral production.
He said the proposed ministry will address issues of policy formulation and programme implementation peculiar to the industry.
He said the diverse and often complex aspects of pastoral farming and significant position of the livestock industry in the national economy will be tackled, if this ministry was created.
Bello also asked President Muhammadu Buhari, after creation of the ministry, to appoint someone who has very vast knowledge and experience in livestock production as its minister.
He however advised that should the president feel there was no need for the new ministry, he should give Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services equal budgetary allocation as that of Arable Farming.
He lamented that the injustice meted out to pastoralists in pursuit of their legitimate vocation across the country were pathetic and deplorable.
He therefore said an insurance scheme with a team of attorneys to tackle the issue must be put in place immediately.
He urged States and Local Governments to earmark at least twenty percent of available land specifically for pastoral production.
He said as a matter of government policy, all development projects (agricultural or otherwise) should consider a programme designed for pastoral livelihood, ensuring that adequate provision is made for livestock production.
He said regional nature of pastoralism requires cooperation among countries sharing common borders, which necessitates the linkage of Nigeria’s efforts of pastoral renaissance to Cameron, Chad, Niger and Benin.
He advised the Federal Government to mount a strong lobby aimed at persuading all the neighboring countries to join in its efforts toward a sedentary pastoral production system.
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