*As state steering committee, livestock transformation officers undergoes training
As Kogi gear up for the full take off of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, Governor Yahaya Bello has assured of his administration’s commitment to the smooth implementation of the project in the state.
This was made known after a-2 day training session organised by National Office of the Livestock Transformation Plan for the state’s Steering Committee (SC) and Project Management Office (PMO).
In his message to the program, Governor Bello harped on the economic importance of the project while assuring of his government readiness to begin implementation promised necessary support to the state project office in order to actualize the objectives of the project.
He urged the people of the state to embrace the project, stressing that it would an all inclusive program that would capture the interests of every segment of the state population.
On his part the state coordinator of the project, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin, has revealed that the capacity of the state livestock transformation officers have been built to turn the objectives of the project into success.
According to him, the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is a project designed by the federal government with focus on modernizing livestock production in the country as well as put to rest, incidences of farmers/herders clashes.
He also explained that the training would prepare the state livestock transformation officers for the task of delivering on the job, stressing that they have been equipped with the knowledge on the modern means of livestock management.
“We are still practicing livestock the way it was 100 years ago. Other countries have long embraced ranching system. It is sad that Nigeria is lagging behind countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, even Sudan in modern livestock farming”, he said.
On the benefits of the project to the state, Dr. Bolarin, maintained that, it would settle the prevailing mistrust between the herders, farmers and the communities that often arises from competition for water and land.
Free grazing range by herders, he pointed out would be made impossible, as model ranches, provided with basic social facilities would be set up to make life easier for those involved in livestock business across the state.
The project, he said, would also empower those in the rural communities to go into livestock production or embrace fodder crop production like Soya Beans as well as cultivation of grasses which would be processed into pellets as feeds for animals, and this he emphasized, would translate into huge economic benefits for the farmers.
On his part, alternate Chairman of the state steering committee, honourable Asiwaju Idris Asiru expressed the commitment of the state government to the success of the project.
Asiwaju who is also the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, noted that the project would open up myriads of opportunities for the state and its people, beside taking care of herders and farmers clashes.
Also, Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, honourable David Apeh, described the idea of the project as timely, noting that apart from resolving herders and farmers hostilities, it would revolutionize diary production in the state and commended the Governor for his belief in the project.
In a vote of thanks, Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture to President Buhari, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, lauded the efforts of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to the success of the project.
He particularly praised him for putting the team together in the state despite the economic situation in the country, and urged his continued support to the project in view of its laudable objectives.