By OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
Federal Government may have concluded plans to ban sale and widespread consumption of hides and skins(Ponmo)which is a delicacy to most Nigerians.
This indication emerged Tuesday when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina called for competent regulations that would check the consumption and sale of the product.
He said this at the 3rd joint anniversary of Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and Nigeria Institute of Animal Science held at the University of Ibadan.
If this is achieved, he noted that livestock farmers would stand good chances of making high dollar return if the hides and skins are tanned into leather.
The minister who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Animal Production and Husbandry in the Ministry, Dr. Ademola Raji, said, ”I also commend NIAS for its advocacy and public enlightenment programs on Radio and Television that promote value addition in Livestock, as against sale and consumption of primary products alone, particularly with the issue of curtailing the widespread consumption of hides and skins as Kpomo which ought to be tanned into leather for a very high dollar return to the farmer and Tanneries.
I expect that competent regulations acceptable by all stakeholders will be developed so as to give credibility that our set standards for food safety are being implemented which will boost value addition.”
The theme of the programme was entitled, “Value Addition in the Nigerian Livestock Industry: A strategy for Economic Growth and Stakeholders Empowerment”.
The minister stressed that FG would continue to drive its Agricultural Transformation Agenda with increased vigour in all its ramifications, pleading for continuous support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the livestock sector to deliver the benefits.
He said,”I am confident that the satisfactory production levels achieved in the poultry and swine segments will soon stretch to reach other commodities such as beef, dairy, micro livestock and animal by products such as leather, bones, hides and skins.
The drive to turn Agriculture into business and not merely a way of life is now in full gear, with the use of mobile phones and e- wallet for input distribution directly to farmers, farmer’s registration with biometric identity cards and the Growth Enhancement Support scheme.
We have all seen the revolution in Rice production and processing; in cassava, sorghum and cotton that have increased output per hectare, through the supply of high quality raw materials to revive industries that have hitherto closed down.”
Food production, he said, rose in 2013 by 8 million metric tonnes over 2012 figures which represents over 70% growth of the target set for 2015 by Government.
“In 2012, 264,000 hectares of dry season paddy rice cultivated in the Northern states alone yielded 1.1 million metric tonnes.” he added.
Speaking earlier, NIAS President, Professor Placid Njoku, applauded the Federal government for tackling the deadly Ebola virus disease, noting that the institute would encourage its members to undertake visionary studies aimed at producing popular bush meat in the country in ”intensive ,hygienic and Ebola disease free environment.”