In a bid to address the challenges bedeviling the livestock sector, the Federal Government has launched the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to identify, track and curb livestock rustling in Nigeria and improve the business
Speaking during the event in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar said that the implementation of NAITS would support livestock owners to identify their animals, curb livestock rustling and facilitate interventions in the livestock sector. Also, it will provide credit and insurance, livestock movement control, animal recording for genetic improvement and research, ease of traceability, surveillance, animal disease control among others.
The minister emphasised that the NAITS was a comprehensive animal information management system that would utilise forgery-proof ear tags and cattle passports combined with digital technology to identify and track livestock across Nigeria, noting that the system complies with the global standards stipulated by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR).
He added that technology advancement has rapidly enhanced productivity across all sectors of our economy, noting that the progress made so far to actualise Animal Identification and Traceability in Nigeria, as well as other innovations in agriculture have been largely driven by digital transformation which has produced exponential results.
“I am, therefore, particularly pleased that the launching of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to enhance the activities of our domestic livestock sector is taking place at this time,” he said.
Speaking further, he explained that the global trade requirements and consumer concerns for source of livestock and livestock products traded and consumed makes animal identification and traceability very necessary to enable Nigeria compete favourably in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and launch Nigeria livestock and livestock products into the international market.
He, therefore, pointed out that NAITS would be implemented in all 36 states and the FCT, highlighting that stakeholder engagement and sensitization on NAITS have already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT and would continue until all states are covered.
Earlier, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the director, human resources management, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Alade explained that as part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the government, animal identification and traceability system would facilitate keeping accurate production records of the herd and information about the owner, amongst others.
In his remarks, the chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Etsu Nupe, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, commended the Federal Government for the implementation of NAITS, noting that it would assist to foster collaboration in agricultural sector, provide significant benefits for agricultural landowners, farmers and would also assist to incentivise landowners to produce economic pasture which would support the livestock sector while simultaneously obtaining organic manure for the livestock owner to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
A statement by the ministry’s director of information signed by Mrs. Eremah Anthonia, said the highlight of the event was the official launch of National Animal Identification and Traceability System’s office, within the premises of the ministry.
Also in attendance were development partners drawn from Ranch ID, Megacorp, among other stakeholders.