By Gami Tadanyigbe
A University don with the Faculty of Agriculture of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Gregory Okagbare has called on the Federal government and relevant stakeholders to adequately fund livestock farming to boost nutrition in the country.
Okagbare made the appeal during the institution’s 13th Inaugural Lecture with the theme “That All May Eat” at the university during the week.
According to him, livestock farming should move from the present traditional system where animals fend for themselves through housing to a technology and business oriented production system.
He said despite the resources at disposal, the Nigerian livestock industry was still in a pitiable state and needed urgent attention to be able to boost food production in the country.
“The livestock industry requires an urgent attention if the country is to be self-sufficient in animal protein and to ensure that all eats.
“Every community should set aside areas within their communities for livestock rearing and farming.
“Livestock farming must gradually move from the present traditional system to a technology and business-oriented production system,” he said.
Okagbare added that government should also sensitise the citizens to establish cottage industries that would process livestock products into other food items and industrial raw materials.
“There is need for an inter-disciplinary approach such that veterinarians, crop producers, government and royal fathers be mobilised for the development of livestock industry in Nigeria.
“Government should also ensure that security operations are strengthened in farming communities to enable farmers harvest their products as when due,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdalla Adamu stressed the importance of animal science, noting that the lecture will further serve as a wake-up call for students to enrol into the department of Agriculture since more experts are needed.