The Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has put the worth of the nation animal husbandry industry at N13 trillion.
This came even as they announce that they are set to host their 9th Joint Annual Meeting to address challenges of animal husbandry, to enhance livestock production for economic development in Nigeria.
The Registrar, NIAS, Prof. Eustace Iyayi made this known on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja.
The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science was established as an agency to regulate all matters pertaining to animal husbandry in Nigeria.
According to Iyayi the theme of the 2020 joint annual meeting is “ Improved Technology: a key strategy for enhanced livestock productivity and national economic development”.
He said that the Nigerian animal husbandry industry has been stunted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of necessary support structure over the years compared to other aspects of agricultural practices.
According to Iyayi, there are over 6,000 registered trained animal scientists with the institute and the value of the industry stands at about N13 trillion.
He said the industry has a huge potential for youth employment and is capable of aiding national economic rebirth.
Iyayi said that in order to arrest youth restiveness and perennial farmers – herders conflicts in the post COVID-19 period, technology and innovation must be applied to promote production, processing and animal agricultural trade.
He said that the current high import bill on animal products and its derivatives in the face of comparative advantage is an unsustainable trend.
Iyayi said that the outcome of the annual meeting will be useful for policy alignment by government.
He added that it will help engender developmental research, innovation, and engagement for economic renaissance with animal agriculture as the pivot.
Iyayi said there will be presentation of awards at the meeting along with induction of fellows into the Postgraduate College of Animal Science, and products exhibition.
He called for youth involvement in animal husbandry services so as to contribute to realization of it vision.