The commitment of the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration to ensuring the revival of the livestock sub-sector through ethical husbandry practises that ensure public health, food safety, and food security for the people of Edo has been reemphasized.
On the occasion of the “Flag-off of Mass Vaccination Campaign Program Against Trans-boundary Animal Diseases for the South South Zone in Edo,” Acting Governor of Edo State Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shuaibu stressed this point.
The occasion, according to the Acting Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Stephen Idehenre, shows the government’s commitment to improving animal health and production as well as preventing setbacks in livestock management by controlling Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TAD) like foot and mouth disease and Newcastle disease, among others.
Shaibu added that Governor Obaseki is passionate about agriculture and highlighted that the livestock sector was one of the cornerstones of Edo’s livelihoods and economic independence, thus Government’s commitment to the sector.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are collaborating on a project called Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support that aims to improve livestock production and reduce conflicts between farmers and herders, the Acting Governor said, adding that the Igarra-Ewan Cattle Ranch is close to being revived.
He praised the Federal Government’s efforts, made through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, to control animal diseases throughout the country and urged all States in the South-South region of the nation to work together to do the same, as only coordinated efforts can produce the desired results.
He took the chance to express his gratitude to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for constructing and outfitting the Primary Animal Health Center in Benin City, pointing out that the facility would need an ambulatory Hilux van, air conditioners, and a water borehole in order to function effectively.
Dr. Earnest Umakhihe, the permanent secretary in the ministry, spoke on behalf of the minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, who stated that “livestock is a major means of livelihood in Nigeria, which employs about 70 percent of our population and provides economic and food security, nutrition, and the much-needed protein for growth and mental development of children, spendable income and cash reserves.”
The Minister continued by saying that until cattle are in a healthy state, which can only be attained by vaccination against animal diseases, their full potential cannot be ensured.
In order to attain the much-desired herd immunity, he pledged that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would continue to assist and work with States to conduct annual vaccinations of animals against Trans-boundary illnesses that could negatively affect livestock productivity.
The minister of agriculture expressed optimism that the vaccination effort in Edo State will continue.
Messages of friendship were sent by the various farmer organisations.
The symbolic beginning of the vaccination campaign by the Acting Governor’s envoy and Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, who was also responsible for launching the Animal Health Center in Benin City, as well as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was the highlight of the event.