By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A number of 1.6 million livestock in Bauchi State are this year targeted for vaccination against contagious diseases, according to the commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Yakubu Kirfi.
Speaking at the flagging off ceremony of 2018 Livestock vaccination campaign in Chinade Monday in Katagum Local Government Area of the state, kirfi said the livestock comprised of 1 million cattle, 200, 000 goats and sheep, and 400,000 chickens.
According to him, a number of 3,500 livestock have been targeted for vaccination at the Chinade launch venue of the exercise in Katagum Local Government Area of the state.
The commissioner explained that the exercise is geared towards empowering livestock farmers and enhancement of economic growth of the state.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar had while launching the campaign earlier, said the sum of N39, 524, 500 was released for the vaccination of livestock against preventable diseases across the state.
“The present administration is fully aware of the significant role of the veterinary subsector in the area of agriculture, public health, preventive medicine and food security,” he said
Abubakar who was represented by his deputy, Arc Abdu Sule katagum, said the subsector has equally been playing a vital role in the control of merging and reemerging diseases, most of which are zoonotic in nature.
He revealed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the State Government have recently constructed a modern poultry market and abattoir complex at Muda Lawal market in the state capital.
Governor Abubakar said that his administration attaches much importance to manpower development of the subsector by sustaining the veterinary students’ manpower scheme despite the embargo on employment in the state.
He explained that the state currently has about 94 veterinary students in various universities within and outside the country.
“Bauchi state is one of the leading livestock producers in the country with about 75 % farming population engage in one form of livestock business or the other”.
“Records from the federal department of livestock indicate that Bauchi state has over one million heads of cattle, 3,481,285 sheep and 5,213,423 goats”.
He stated, “Considering the increase of livestock in the state, it is imperative to improve the tempo of yearly vaccination campaign of livestock against preventable diseases”.
The governor further explained that his administration policy on interventions in the agricultural entrepreneurship development programme cut across all sectors of agriculture in the state.
He commended health related professional bodies for complementing efforts of the state government in the area of animal health and production.
In his response, the state chairman of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Abdullahi Abubakar commended the state government for considering Chinade as the venue for the flag off of this year’s exercise.
Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar therefore urged the state government to sustain the vaccination exercise to enable cattle breeders stay in one place.