World Animal Day: Nigeria Advocates Climate-Smart Agriculture

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R-L: The Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Mustapha Shehuri and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe inspecting animals at the exhibition stand during the World Animal Day commemoration ceremony in Abuja.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and stakeholders joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 2022 World Farm Animals Day and World Animal Day while advocating for climate-smart agriculture.

The commemoration, themed “Good Animal Husbandry Practice Is Climate-smart”, was celebrated at the ministry’s premises in Abuja, recently.

In his speech, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri said that the commemoration of World Animal Day was a reminder to all to examine animal husbandry practices concerning the environment, in the ever-changing climate situations, to adapt and mitigate its effects as we strive for productivity, the profitability of production and the associated businesses.

He pointed out that the climate-smart agriculture strategies which included sustainable livestock production systems were to address environmental issues while ensuring improved productivity, enhanced resilience, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, amongst others.

Speaking further, Shehuri revealed that World Animal Day was officially adopted in May 1931, by the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence, Italy, where October 4 was declared as the day for global commemoration.

In her remarks, the director, animal husbandry services department, Mrs. Winnie Solarin noted that the mission of the commemoration is to raise awareness, sustainability and profitability of animal production as well as animal protein in nutrition for healthy living. 

Solarin emphasised that the mission was in tandem with the mandate of the Department of Animal Husbandry (DAHS) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), stressing that World Animal Day embraces all animals, including domestic animals. She noted the unique concerns of each, in every country, with emphasis on animals for slaughter as meat as well as those kept for other socio-economic purposes such as farming and transport.  

“In many countries, World Animal Day is now being celebrated by various organisations and government bodies like the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (SPARE), Animals Lebanon and Animal Naturalis Colombia, the Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART), the Sudanese Animal Care and Environmental Organization, among others.”

In his goodwill message, the registrar, Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Prof. Eustace Iyayi said that animals play a vital role in agriculture and other sectors, hence generating income for the economy.

He said this year’s commemoration was the first time Nigeria joined other countries in celebrating World Animal Day, pointing out that “what we are celebrating today is to create awareness and sustain the economy”.

A statement by the ministry’s director of information, signed by Mrs. Eremah Anthonia said the highlight of the event was the visitation of the Hon. Minister of State, FMARD, Mustapha Baba Shehuri; the Permanent secretary, FMARD, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe and other officials to various animal value chains at the exhibition stand.

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