The federal government has begun the pilot project of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) in Nasarawa State.
The first phase of the implementation will take place in Nasarawa, Plateau, Gombe and Adamawa states.
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Till date, 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have indicated interest in implementing the NLTP.
The national plan is aimed at addressing the recurrent crisis between farmers and herders across the country by providing ranches for herders.
The ranches, which will be equipped with necessary facilities, are expected to stop movement of animals in search of food.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to Netherlands, secured a €400,000 grant to implement the project in the four states.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, who was in Nasarawa, in preparation for the pilot project, said he was in the state to “review the project appraisal document for the start-up site and ensure that the team in the state is clear on the roles and responsibilities of the Nasarawa State senior management team of the state livestock transformation office and the project office.”
“On the back of the memorandum of understanding signed during the visit of Mr President to the Netherlands, the Dutch Investment Agency (RVO) approved a grant of about 400,000 Euros to cover a 50 per cent cost of the pilot start-up of the NLTP model in Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist households, with a start date of March 2021.
“Cownexxion (the lead consultant in this bilateral collaboration, leading the Dutch Consortium; the Holland Dairy House Group) will serve as a technical partner for the implementation of the NLTP pilot ranches in four states: Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.
“In each of these states, a pilot farm, which will also serve as a training centre, will be developed. Cownexxion is a leading Dutch consultancy focused on dairy farming. It has carried out projects in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company is experienced in improving the technical and economic performance of dairy farming systems,’’ a statement from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the PACE) noted.
In his response, the deputy governor of Nassarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe said, “We are quite enthusiastic about this programme starting in Nasarawa. We feel it is a great honour that Nasarawa State was picked to pilot this project. We have resolved to be in control.
“We want to own it and make Nasarawa an envy of other states because we are supposed to showcase not only the state but the whole of Nigeria.”
The focus of the project will be on feed production, transfer of knowledge and skills, plus the transformation of management.