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Nigerian govt launches Animal Identification System to curb herder-farmer clashes

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In a bid to reduce incidences of herder-farmer clashes in the country, the Federal Government on Wednesday launched the National Animal Identification System and Traceability System (NAITS).

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who launched the system at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, said it would address the menace of cattle rustling, proper identification of cattle and non-ruminants, easy traceability, provision of credit, insurance, and others due to the use of technology.

While addressing journalists after the launching, Abubakar told stakeholders drawn from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, cattle breeders, traditional rulers, animal husbandry experts, scientists, ECOWAS, United Nations, UN, pastoralists, and others, that the benefits of the technology which is the first of its kind in the sector are enormous and would change the narrative in livestock business and drastically reduce the inherent challenges that have bedeviled the subsector over the years.

READ ALSO:MURIC counsels Nigerian govt on how to resolve farmers-herders clashes

Abubakar assured that NAITS was part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan and will be implemented in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, and added that stakeholder engagements and sensitization on NAITS had already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), initiated the National Animal Identification System and Traceability System (NAITS) project as one of the strategies to address the socio-economic and security challenges bedevilling the livestock sector and dearth of data for proper planning among others.

“The successful implementation of NAITS will support livestock owners to identify their animals, curb livestock rustling, facilitate interventions in the livestock sector, provision of credit and insurance, livestock movement control, animal recording for genetic improvement and research, ease of traceability, surveillance, animal disease control and enable trade among others.

“The National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) is a comprehensive animal information management system that will utilize forgery-proof ear tags and cattle passports combined with digital technology to identify and track livestock across Nigeria.

“These database will provide full visibility on the livestock sector, especially the pastoralists who have felt marginalized and unfairly treated by the society despite being essential in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.”

He also stressed that NAITS would address issues affecting the livestock subsector, while promoting greater cohesion and harmony among communities.

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