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July 10, 2024

FG launches anti-cattle rustling initiative in Kwara

cattle rustling

L-R: Representative of Kwara State Governor and his Senior Adviser and Counsellor Alhaji Sa’adu Salaudeen; Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Hon Oloruntoyosi Thomas Adebayo; Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; and Oniye Zulukarnani Tope; during the flag off of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System ( NAITS), in Ilorin, on Wednesday.

By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

The federal government on Wednesday launched the National Animal Identification Traceability System (NAITS) in Kwara state, in a bid to reduce cattle rustling and farmers-herders clashes, as well as engendering peaceful coexistence in the state.

The highlight of the programme was a symbolic tag of some cattle with registration numbers by the Honourable Minister to guide them against their theft or ease their recovery when stolen.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, speaking at the event in Ilorin said NAITS is part of the national livestock transformation programmes of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration that seek to reduce cattle rustling and farmers-herders clashes, as well as engendering peaceful coexistence in the country.

He said the federal government is working tirelessly to develop livestock transformation that would satisfy local demands and the exportation to foreign countries.

“Growing domestic and global demands for animal products is key to this administration. When we develop our livestock industry and we can satisfy our local demands, we should also begin to think of how to export to other countries.

“So, export is a long-term vision but in the present, our interest is to organize this industry so that owners of this industry would benefit from it,” the Minister said.

The minister also praised Governor AbdulRazaq for his sincere commitment to developing agriculture in the state, asking the government to do more.

In his address, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for taking various bold steps to develop livestock and end perennial herders-farmers clashes across communities.

The Governor specifically mentioned the recent inauguration of livestock reforms implementation committee by the federal government and its move to establish a Ministry for Livestock Development as historic efforts to transform the agricultural landscape and sustainably enhance food security.

He said,“About 24 hours ago, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, inaugurated the committee on the implementation of livestock reforms along with a historic plan to establish the Ministry of Livestock Development.

” This announcement has expectedly sparked national excitement around the future of livestock value chains and the potential to end the perennial clashes between herders and farmers. We thank Mr. President for these historic steps and we are confident that all stakeholders will rally round the President to achieve this,” the Governor said through his Counselor and Senior Advisor Sa’adu Salaudeen.

The Governor also thanked the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari and his team for their hard work to transform the agricultural sector for economic diversification, adding that serves as a model for his government in the state.

“This explains why our administration in Kwara State has paid good attention to the livestock sub-sector, as is evident with our participation in the LPRES, SAPZ programmes and our FASEP partnership with the French Government. Our investment is driven by the fact that most of the rural populace has one or two types of livestock which act as an economic buffer and a source of emergency exchange for cash,” he said.

“We aim to ensure that our small-holding livestock farmers become commercially oriented so that they can respond to the growing demand for quality food from urban centres, the realities of climate change, and the fluctuating global economy. This will also ensure that their families have an adequate supply of animal proteins and enjoy improved livelihood”.

AbdulRazaq also pledged to support the agricultural initiative by facilitating the construction and equipping of the Kwara NAITS centre through the LPRESS, and solicited more collaborations with the federal government, particularly in developing irrigation for all-year farming, and agricultural mechanization.

“We also look forward to more collaborations, particularly in developing irrigation for all-year farming, agricultural mechanization, the opening of more lands for agriculture, development of our airport for agricultural exports, capacity building for our farmers and the development of commercial farming settlements for our youths and women. This will tackle the produce demand and supply gap and reduce the unemployment burden in the country,” he added.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security Mrs Oloruntoyosi Thomas, in her remarks, said the state government will continue to leverage technology and innovation to drive agricultural transformation in the state, adding NAITS is a critical tool for agricultural excellence that is dear to the administration.

“This intervention will improve the livelihoods of our farmers, enhance food production, facilitate access to new markets and finance, and reduce poverty,” she said.