By Sylvester Thompson
The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) says it supports President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for focusing attention on livestock agriculture through the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
The Association made this commendation in a communiqué issued after its 56th National Congress in Lokoja, Kogi.
According to the association, agricultural industry is on the decline due to the neglect of rural infrastructure, inconsistent agricultural policies and difficult environment for agribusiness among others.
“Livestock sector is a pathway to wealth as such there should be strategies for generic improvement of the national herd, increase intensification of small and large scale livestock production.
“There should also be a robust livestock extension system as livestock transformation is crucial to the nation’s growing economy.
“We recommend good governance and leadership, strong institutions and the rule of law in order to solve the problem of herdsmen and farmer clashes,” it said.
The Association said that the various tiers of government should pay attention to the food safety situation in the country, particularly to the wholesomeness of foods of animal origin from abattoirs and slaughter houses.
It advised the various tiers of government to rehabilitate and build livestock facilities as well as re-invest in research institutions and universities.
The association said that veterinary faculties and colleges should partner with established veterinary entrepreneurs to impact entrepreneurial skills in students.
It encouraged the State Governments to train private veterinarians to improve animal disease reporting system in the country.
“This will help them to take advantage of the digital disease reporting template of the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services for effective disease monitoring.
“It will also intensify veterinary control posts activities to combat trans-boundary animal disease transmission,’’ it said.
The Association called for close collaboration in this aspect of disease monitoring between the government and private veterinarians.
The communiqué was signed by Professor Bello Agaie, NVMA President, Dr Mahmuda Aliyu, Secretary, Dr Oladotun Fadipe, Secretary-General and Dr Gloria Daminabo, Publicity Secretary.
The theme of the congress was entitled: ` Veterinary Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria: Challenges and the Way Forward”(NAN)