22 States, FCT Register for the Grazing Reserve Initiative
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, on Thursday, at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held in Abuja said 22 state and Federal Capital Territory have registered the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP.
Nanono pointed out that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, has been adjudged worldwide to be a well-conceived project which seeks to transform the nation’s livestock sector from nomadic-dependent sector into an organized ranching one, which 22 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have registered with the NLTP Office.
He also disclosed that out of the 22 States, 10 States have created their own teams which have been trained by the Federal Office, while seven of these 10 States have also earmarked about 19 Grazing Reserves for the implementation of the NLTP, with a total land size of approximately 400,000 hectares.
He maintained that it is safe that the NLTP when fully implemented will bring an end to the incessant clashes between the farmers and herdsmen and at the same time introduce the herders to the modern way of raising cattle.
According to him a Dutch consortium is partnering the Federal Government for the implementation of the first pilot State was able to attract a grant from the Netherlands to start-up the NLTP pilot in Nasarawa State.
He said: “Agricultural productivity can only improve through mechanization of production activities. In our effort to improve the agricultural production profile of the country, we have entered into a partnership with the government of Brazil through one of their foremost technology transfer institution, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).
“This partnership has yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of nine hundred and ninety five million euros (€995m). This shall be granted to Nigerian entrepreneurs to establish Service Centres across all the 774 Local Governments of the country, selling services to all categories of farmers and thereby helping to improve their productivity.
“The service centres shall be of either a Type 1, supporting production activities; or a Type 2, supporting processing and packaging activities.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the effort of his Ministry on capacity building and deployment of agricultural extension workers, he said, “All around growth in the agricultural sector will happen a lot faster with abundance of knowledge. In order to ensure this, the Ministry has embarked on increasing the number of available extension workers in the different aspects of our operations.
“This year, about 1, 200 extension workers have been trained. With the Green Imperative Project launching soon, there is a component of it that will see to the training of extension workers in agricultural mechanization and other important aspects of crop and livestock operations. Such extension workers will be available to support further government interventions, thereby boosting our productivity exponentially.”
According to him, a major hallmark of government’s agricultural interventions is inclusiveness.
“We have tried to cater to youths, women and many other demographic considerations in our implementation strategies. I would therefore like to implore everyone here-present to follow suit, as well as imbibe the spirit of transparency and cooperation”, he stated.
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