By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A $250 million Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project is soon to commence execution in Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Project National Coordinator, Mrs. Winnie Lai Solarin disclosed this during a virtual meeting with States’ Project Desk and Communication Officers of the Project across the country.
She appreciated Governors of the participating states for their support and commitment to the project by providing office accommodation and approval of counterpart contributions, as well as subsequent releases of counterpart funds in some states.
The coordinator therefore appealed to the participating states to provide the necessary support to the state teams to ensure full preparedness for the successful take off of the project in the country.
Mrs. Winnie Tai Solarin explained that it is a six-year project with development objective to improve productivity, resilience and commercialization of selected livestock value chains.
She noted, “In Nigeria and indeed in many countries in Africa, Livestock remains very vital to the socio economic development of the country and a major source of high quality animal protein intake. It also generates wealth, create rural jobs and in addition conserve foreign exchange”.
Winnie revealed that the project has three major components which include strengthening national institutions on livestock industry, institutional and individual capacity, enhancing value chain productivity, and promote conflict prevention between farmers and herders.
The project, she stated, would be implemented in 15 states of the federation including the FCT, based on the fulfilments of certain laid down criteria by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Katsina, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory.
The beneficiaries of the project will include producers of cattle, small ruminants, goats, poultry, as well as seeds growers and good animal husbandry practice.
The project will also support grazing reserves, farmer groups and other outreach groups who will benefit from extension and animal health services, smallholder households as well as other actors in the selected value chains, among others.
A statement by the communication officer of the project in Bauchi, Abdul D. Mohammed indicated that the state project desk officer, Dr. Rose D. Idi said that during the zoom meeting, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed approved and directed the release of the state counterpart contribution to the project
According to her, Kufa grazing reserve in Alkaleri LGA was identified as one of the intervention areas in that direction, recalling that the grazing reserve was constructed 60 years ago, during the Development Agenda of late premier of the defunct Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardaunan Sokoto) but now become death trap for animals.
Communities in the area and the Bauchi state government are appreciative of the selection of the abandoned grazing reserve for the intervention. The National Coordinator of the project, Mrs. Winnie Lai Solarin led the virtual meeting and supported by the National Communication Officer, Mr. Yomi Abe
Others at the meeting were the National Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Mr. Sam Alabi, Senior Officers of the Project at the National Office while States Project Desk and Communication Officers from the 15 participating states also attended the virtual meeting.