To improve on animal production, Nigerians have to become animal scientists, says Emir of Muri

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

The Emir of Muri, Alhaji (Dr). Abbas Njidda Tafida has asserted that the easiest way to improve all aspect of life in Nigeria in the area of animal production is for all the citizens to become animal scientists.

The Monarch stated this on Tuesday when he served as a Guest speaker during the opening ceremony of Animal Science Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (ASAN-NIAS) joint meeting and 11th Annual Conference held at Zaranda Hotel in Bauchi.

Dr. Tafida observed that the tool and task of the scientist is intelligent and patient observations, coupled with honest effort to develop most useful reactions to facts gathered.

“The bases of my address today is- that every Science person should be able to observe nature and make useful recommendation, everybody therefore, should make effort to be a scientist at his own level and that’s the scientist I am”, he said.

The Emir who said that the conference which has its main theme as, ‘Animal Production in Nigeria, Current Status and Way Forward’, noted that currently, animal production status in Nigeria is the worst evidence of the country’s economic failure as a nation.

The monarch said a situation where Nigerian cows are giving less than 1 litter of milk per cow average, while the world average is 10 litters per cow in a day, calls for concerns of all.

He lamented that the weight gain of sheep and goats in the country is 50 grams per day against maximum 250 grams per day in well fed breeds.

Dr. Tafida said Nigeria import equivalent of 500 million litters of milk in powder annually, describing Nigeria as the highest importers of milk powder in the world.

While lamenting that Nigeria has virtually no functional veterinary health control in abattoirs and slaughter houses, Dr. Tafida noted that the issues that need to be analysed in the country’s animal production status include, feed, health, Livestock breeding, Livestock management, government control and leadership.

According to him, in order to boost animal production, land should be doubled, and there should be introduction and development of irrigation skill.

He added that, water management skill should be developed, including the provision of simple earth dams and boreholes as well as introduction of more productive pasture and fodders trees.

The ideal pastures according to the Emir include Super Nappier, Paradoa, BRS
Quenya, Bracheria SABA.
Fodder trees are, Gliricidia, Dagasaste, Leucanea and
Sesbania Dwaff high density mangoes.

He said that the factors facing feed production include in Nigeria include, land shortage, land degredation and in some cases desert encroachment, inadequate or total absence of pasture development.

The Emir of Muri decried that there is virtually no control in livestock movement as cows are sold for both meat and breeding at the same venue.

The Emir who said farmers and herders generally take cattle they suspect to be sick to the market, decried that people looking for breeding animals buys them without any form of certification, a situation he said is catastrophic.

While calling on the federal government to develop a national policy on livestock, the monarch said livestock breeding strategy should be put in place to improve productivity.

“The ministry of agriculture should drop old rules and address issues of National development”, he added.

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