A Fulani group, Kulen Allah Cattle Reares Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has demanded the establishment of Ministry of Animal Resources by the Federal Government to address numerous challenges confronting the livestock sub-sector in Nigeria.

It stated that this will be in recognition of the pivotal role that the sub-sector plays in sustaining the nation’s livestock industry and contributing to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

In a statement issued Tuesday in Damaturu, KACRAN’s National President Khalil Mohammed also urged the Federal Government to as a matter of utmost urgency, focus on issues of policy formulation and programme implementation peculiar to the Ministry or alternatively give animal husbandry services equal budgetary provision as that of arable farming.

“Not only the creation of this Ministry, considering the diverse and often complex aspects of pastoral production, and significant position of the livestock industry in the national economy, we also call on Mr President to kindly appoint somebody who has very vast knowledge and experience on livestock production as a Minister, who will cooperate with his staff to achieve the Ministry’s desired objectives or alternatively give Directorate of animal husbandry services equal budgetary allocation as that of arable farming,” he advised.

The association further advised the federal government and 19 northern governors to implement polices and programmes aimed at addressing the plights of pastoral communities, tackle the issue of alleged injustice against herdsmen and earmark not less than 20 per cent of available land for pastoral production activities among others.

“As a matter of government policy, all development projects (agricultural or otherwise) should be considered in program design and implementations on pastoral livelihood, ensuring that adequate provision is made for livestock production. An environmental impact assessment of such projects should be undertaken prior to projects commencement.

“Regional nature of pastoralism requires cooperation among countries sharing common borders, which necessitates the linkages of Nigeria’s efforts of pastoral Renaissance to Cameron, Chad, Niger and Benin. The Federal Government should mount a strong lobby aimed at persuading all the neighboring countries to join in its efforts of sedentarisation of the pastoral production system.

“The Ministry under discussion should be given mandate or authority to identity foreign nations which possess livestock productions skills, to establish bilateral relationship on how the two side would put head together to develop livestock industry in Nigeria,” Mohammed demanded.