A program tagged ‘National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP)’ by the Federal Government has taken off with its pilot project in Nasarawa.
President Muhammadu Buhari had acquired a €400,000 grant from the Netherlands during his visit to the country, to implement the project in four states in Nigeria which includes Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, who was in Nasarawa State in preparation for the pilot project said his aim of visiting was to “review in particular the project appraisal document for the start-up site and ensure that the State team is clear on the roles and responsibilities of Nasarawa State Senior Management Team of the State Livestock Transformation Office and the Project Office.”
A statement from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Project for Agricultural Coordination and Planning (PACE) after the visit, said “on the back of the MoU signed during the State visit of Mr President to the Netherlands, the Dutch Investment Agency (RVO) approved a grant of about 400,000 Euros to cover 50% cost of the pilot start-up of NLTP model in Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist households with a start date of March 2021.
“Cownexxion (the lead consultant in this bilateral collaboration, leading the Dutch Consortium; the Holland Dairy House Group) will serve as a technical partner for the implementation of the NLTP pilot ranches in 4 states: Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.
“In each of these states, a pilot farm, which will also serve as a training centre, will be developed. Cownexxion, is a leading Dutch consultancy focused on dairy farming. It has carried out projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Company is experienced in improving the technical and economic performance of dairy farming systems.”
In his response, the Deputy Governor of Nassarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, said “We are quite enthusiastic about this program starting in Nasarawa State. We feel it is a great honour that Nasarawa State was picked to pilot this project. We as a State have resolved not only to be in charge but also in control.
“We want to own it and make Nasarawa an envy of other states because we are supposed to showcase not only Nasarawa State but the whole of Nigeria.”
He assured the team of the support of the State Governor in making the project a success.
According to reports, the focus of the two and a half-year project will be on feed production, transfer of knowledge and skills plus the transformation of management.
Recall that researchers have argued for greater attention to findings and research projects towards boosting the productivity of the agricultural sector.