By Michael Peter, The Sight News
Abuja-The President of the Animal Science Association of Nigeria, ASAN, Taiwo Adeoye, has said said that a more wholistic look at the livestock sector, would prevent the various challenges confronting it.
This is as he pointed out that paying adequate attention to the livestock sector will help solve the pastoralists and farmers crisis currently being witnessed in the country.
Speaking with The Sight News reporter in Abuja at the ASAN-NAIS joint annual meeting in which the induction of Animal Scientists, Associate Animal Scientists, and Fellows Nigerian Institute of Animal Science also took place, he stressed that if properly harnessed, the livestock sector can assist in revenue boost for the country.
He said “leather is the third highest revenue earner in the country and it hasn’t even been scratched. Can you look at the enormous potentials that could deliver great wealth to the country if only we harness it? Agriculture is enough for us to make it happen in this country. We have now been recognized as professionals and our voice is now being heard.
“One of the things that have limited progress in Nigeria is putting the right people in the right places. Our coming together is moving us to where we want to be. Initially all our focus has been on crops, but now we are shifting focus. The current National Conference on Livestock Development being organised by the Ministry of agriculture is a result of our continuous cry that we need to wholistically look at the livestock sector of the economy”.
On the import of the joint meeting, the ASAN President noted that the yearly meeting has brought Animal Scientists the recognition that had eluded them hitherto.
He also noted that through the activities of the Associations more than 21 States in the country now have livestock department in their Ministry of Agriculture.
“Right now we have more than 21 states which we have been able to separate livestock department from the general department. We still have a lot to do but we are moving”.
On his part, the Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, Prof. Eustace Iyayi called for the transformation and proper management of grazing reserves in the country to address the current Herdsmen – farmers conflicts in the country.
“We as an institute believe that there should be commercial production of pasture to address the feed requirements of the cattle rearers”.
Speaking to The Sight News, one of the newly inducted member, Mr. Ukegbu Kalu RAS 01878 who is also an Agribusiness consultant expressed excitement over becoming a bona fide member of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, adding that he has now been certified and empowered by NIAS to discharge her mandates professionally and effectively.
According to him; “Indeed, the process was worth it. Nothing good comes easy. You get qualified to become a Registered Animal Scientist after 5 years post-graduation from the university and undertaking a professional Graduate Animal Scientist GAS examination.
“As cited in the NIAS constitution Part 1, Act 26 of 2007, a Registered Animal Scientist RAS has the mandate to report any persons, organizations or enterprises involved in animal husbandry activities without the supervision of a RAS” he added.
He further noted that the induction will serve as an avenue to collaborate with other Animal Scientist in enhancing the profession, foster cordial relationship among colleagues and support them both collectively and individually against unjust professional treatment.
The theme for this year’s Joint meeting is “Sustainable Livestock Production for National Growth”.