OPENING REMARK BY PHARM ABAYOMI OGUNTUNDE, THE ODG/CEO, NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NABDA) AT THE BOVINE SPECIES SPECIFIC VALUE CHAIN STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT HELD AT THE SEMINAR HALL, HEADQUARTER ON THE 23rd FEBRUARY, 2018.
Cattle value chain in Nigeria is one of the major livestock enterprise providing economically important products for both human consumption and industrial use. The investment in this value chain is huge and diverse ranging from formal to informal practitioners with a population of about 40 million citizens depending on this sub sector for their livelihood.
The role of science, technology and innovation in Agriculture and especially in livestock development cannot be over emphasized. In fact, all agricultural activities are mainly science based hence the need for our intervention in the cattle value chain. NABDA, an Agency under FMST has a mandate to deploy available biotechnologies that will improve the general socio economic well being of all Nigerians. Our intervention today through the engagement of major stakeholders in Cattle value chain is very strategic because of our unshaking belief that science and technology especially reproductive biotechnology solutions can provide veritable tools to solving the present crisis this sub sector.
The reproductive efficiency is a complex phenomenon controlled by both genetic and non-genetic factors, the non- genetic factors being climate, nutrition, and level of management. The reproductive efficiency varies not only between species and breeds but also among the animals within the same breed. Even the best feeding and management cannot coax performance beyond the genetic limit of an inferior animal. Improving the genetic merits of livestock populations is important at all levels of management. A sound breeding program is a necessary part of the total animal production system. It is absolutely imperative to improve the productive capacity and physical appearance of the animal population.
Specifically, we are well positioned as an agency of government to assist the cattle herders through capacity building, deployment of affordable and available reproductive biotechnologies to enhance the productivity and resilience in the sector. Our goal is to aggregate the first hand challenges of the practitioners in the sector as the basis for our future collaborative researches in a bid to respond to national needs while providing sustainable solutions to crisis in the subsector. We are prepared to sustain this effort through continuous periodic engagements and building real life field feedback mechanisms to our research systems.
To further strengthen our relationship with the herders and farmers, we shall facilitate the protection and promotion of the indigenous peoples’ Knowledge and traditional technologies through our special Intellectual property centre – Technology and innovation support Centre under the office of DG/CEO of NABDA. The centre will soon commence a Pilot Project on Bio cultural Protocols documentation in livestock sub sector across Nigeria in line with the NAGOYA protocol on Biodiversity, Asset and benefit sharing program of UNDP and Aichi biodiversity target in our deliberate support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. This is our trust building approach between herders and government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the outcomes of this session will go a long way in the preparation of position paper to be presented at different for a both locally and internationally to attract resources that will accelerate the attainment of peace in the livestock sub sectors. Our partners are ready to work with the herders through NABDA in providing a wide range of science based solution to the ongoing crisis.
I hereby officially welcome MACBAN, APESS, CORET, Nigeria Police force, Federal ministry of Agric, Private Sector and delegate from Federal Ministry of Agriculture among other stakeholders present today to this maiden session. I wish you a fruitful deliberation.