Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammed Sabo Nanono has said Nigeria’s Cattle Market is worth over N3 trillion and that no responsible nation would toy with the huge market.
Nanono said this on Thursday in Abuja at the inauguration of the 5th Council of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS).
He regretted that Nigerians have allowed emotions and sentiments to becloud their sense of reasoning in view of the lingering herders/farmers conflicts. He said: “We are in a danger time in this country. Recent happenings in the country do not augur well to the development of livestock in Nigeria.
“We have allowed ourselves to be betrayed by emotions and sentiments.”
The minister therefore, tasked members of the 5th Council of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science to work assiduously in resolving the lingering conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.
He said:” I have no iota of doubt that this Council, filled with an array of accomplished Animal Scientists of various professional disciplines, will fulfill its core function, which is to offer leadership in the governance of the affairs of the Institute to continue to deliver on its mandates.
“The Institute must not shy away from playing a deserved lead role in proffering the needed solution to the current burning issue of incessant conflicts between herders and sedentary farming communities in Nigeria.
“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.
“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 European Unio , United States of America 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.”