The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called on the federal government to address its subverted position by establishing an independent livestock ministry to harness issues in the industry.
Othman Ngelzarma, the association’s secretary, who spoke on behalf of the umbrella body, observed that the placement of the livestock industry under the ministry of agriculture does not enable the industry to work to its full potentials towards actualising major impacts on the nation’s economy.
Ngelzarma who noted his displeasure of the current state of the livestock sector stated that for Nigeria to truly enjoy the services of the livestock sector, it has to be detached from the control of the agriculture ministry. He observed that most West African countries have federal ministries of livestock because they understand the importance of livestock production in a country’s economy.
According to him, the immensity of the issues facing the livestock sector, including farmer-herder conflicts, cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping and the decrease of the Lake Chad basin housing millions of cattle herders, is beyond what can be harnessed by just a department. He demanded that an agency or ministry is what is needed to resolve the problems permanently and reiterated the need for the government to pay more attention with regards to grazing reserves creation across the country.
The livestock industry is currently a sub-sector of the Animal Husbandry and the Veterinary and Pest Control Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.