NEC Approves N179bn For 10-Year National Livestock Plan
The National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has approved a 10-year National Livestock Plan which will cost about N179 billion. All 36 state governors are members of the NEC.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Audu Ogbe, and the Coordinator of the plan, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, made this disclossures at a session with editors in Abuja.
NEC noted that about N70 billion of the budget will disbursed between now and the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first four-year tenure next year, while the project is expected to take off in Benue and Nasarawa states.
According to Ogbe, cattle rearers would be the greatest beneficiaries in the next few years.
He also said the Federal Government has no intention of seizing anybody’s land by force.
He said: “In addition to loss of human lives, it is estimated that Nigeria loses about $14 billion (N5.04 trillion) annually to herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts.
“Domestic annual milk production in Nigeria is only 400 million litres, resulting in supply
gap of about 700 million litres.
“To fill these growing gaps, Nigeria spends a large amount of its scarce foreign exchange resource to import livestock products, with average of $480.6 million (N173.3 billion) worth of milk imports alone per year.
“The National Livestock Implementation Plan is a mediation plan stemming from meetings and recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the National Economic Council (NEC) in 2017 as regards state interventions following the incessant pastoralist-farmer conflicts.
“We are going to have 94 ranches in 10 states. We have received 21 gazetted grazing reserves from seven states. Plan focuses on pilot intervention in the frontline states Adamawa, Benue, Edo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba, and Zamfara.
“A Ranch Design Plan has also been proposed in models of various sizes clustered in 94 locations in the 10 pilot states. We will have clusters of 30, 60, 150, and 300 cow ranch models in a location within the donated and gazetted grazing reserves.
“The total spending for the 10-year period is slightly in excess of N179 billion. Funding for the first three years of the pilot phase is about N70 billion.
“The ranch is also designed as an integrated business which makes provision for (a) the development of commercial crop production to support livestock through the supply of quality fodder and other feed materials, (b) the formation of producers into clusters to create viable ranch herd sizes, and (c) creation of cooperatives to facilitate improved access to inputs, infrastructure, finance, markets, and support services.”