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Agency Engages Stakeholders on Improved Livestock Farming In Oyo State.

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Agency Engages Stakeholders on Improved Livestock Farming In Oyo State.

 

Livestock

 

By Adewale Owoade

 

The government of Oyo State, through its State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), has organised a One Day Workshop on Livestock Development, to increase livestock farming in the State.

 

The event with the theme: “Developing Evidence-Based Plans, Policies and Investment Options, was held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan.

 

Dr Debo Akande, the Director General of OYSADA, who doubles as Executive Adviser to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Agribusiness, said that the programme was put together to design a strategic plan for Oyo State to improve its livestock sector.

 

Akande noted that the action and direction of the present government is yielding results as indicated by statistics recently released by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

According to him, the NAERLS statistics indicates that between 2019 and 2020, the crop production is higher than what it has been since 2013.

 

The statistics also shows that the size of land being cultivated for four crops cumulatively has grown by 40, 000 hectares of land.

“The essence of this workshop is to bring together all the actors on livestock.

“More than often, when we talk about agriculture we focus always on crops, and we think it’s high time we start engaging ourselves around livestock.

 

He said that beyond the general strategy, the state does not have agribusiness and agriculture document on livestock.

 

“We need to review what the policies are, to see how that policy can benefit the modern livestock value chain and business.

” And, to see how we can continuously support our small hold farmers on this value chain to bring into the fold again diverse actors and investors in the area of livestock.

 

“Oyo State government is highly interested to do all that is possible to see more of our youths in agribusiness either in crop production or livestock.

 

“At OYSADA, we are creating new frontiers, not just that we are removing and creating new frontiers, this agency is now leading the front for the state.

 

“The recent statistics has shown the directions of this government led by governor Makinde.

” Just last week I got a letter from National Association of Self-Employed, (NASE) that showed that between 2019 and 2020 our crop production has been higher than what we have been doing since 2013.

” And, this is a data from the Federal Government,” Akande said.

Also, Zaina Sore, Head of Capacity Development, IITA, who represented the Deputy Director General, IITA, Dr Ken Dashiell, said that the meeting was timely.

He described livestock farming as a sector that would provide economic growth and employment for the youths.

 

“It is going to be a sector that would provide economic growth for the state, contribute to socio economic development of communities and provide employment for the youths.

 

“But, we must also look at the nutrition aspect and make sure that we have all the required livestock product in place, following exceptional standard for public health.

 

She also urged government to put in place the right policy, Infrastructure and right technology for livestock sector to meet the needs of the people.

 

“The government should make sure infrastructure are in place, create enabling environment for the investors, and also make sure that the policies are there.

“This is so that the private sector and government can work together to put together businesses that will develop the sector,” Sore said

The technical partner to OYSADA, Dr Tunde Amole, Country Director for International Livestock Research Institutes, was optimistic that the meeting would assist the state to provide  a roadmap for investors.

 

“When we look at livestock generally, the discussion around livestock has not been on front burner in many of government policy, state discussion, so we discovered that we must develop a roadmap for livestock.

 

“We must develop a milestone, a strategic document that says this is the livestock in the state, we must understand where we are and what our desire for livestock in the state is.

 

“We hope that after this meeting, Oyo State will present a road map for investors,” Amole stated.

 

Prof. Olugbenga Ogunwole, a lecturer in the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, said with food security the society would be a better place.

 

“Globally, the first requirement to be alive is food security, check the Federal Ministry of Finance Gazette , it is only foods that are exempted from tax, so globally no government tax food items.

 

“The money you spend on hospital will reduce when you are food secured, the criminals will reduce, you will produce more brilliant children.

 

“There is a relationship between what you eat and the capacity of your brain, there is a relationship between what you eat and what you put into the economy, they are interwoven,” Ogunwole said.

 

Also, Adekunle Olayiwola, General Manager of a dairy producing company in Ibadan, stressed the need for finance and data for proper planning.

 

“We need data in terms of how many dairy farmers we have, how many cows we have, what kind of species are available and what kind of research?

 

“This are enablers to help us on how we can develop the dairy sector in Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole,” he said

 

The programme which had in attendance academia, livestock farmers, investors, researchers, policy makers, Miyetti Allah association among others, provided an opportunity for stakeholders to rub minds and fashion out ways to better livestock production. (NAN)