The Federal Government is set to partner Gombe State Government on the establishment of modern grazing reserves to harness the livestock potentials in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Inuwa Yahaya in Gombe.
Nanono said that he was in the state to assess the resources in state for the establishment of modern grazing reserves and the resuscitation of existing ones.
According to him, Gombe State has huge livestock potential that can be harnessed to create jobs in the livestock value chain and improve the well-being of the people of the state.
The minister said, in spite of the outcries, misunderstandings and misgivings that greeted the proposed development of livestock in the country, harnessing the business potential in livestock was one way to boost the nation’s economy.
According to him, the livestock sector is worth over N30 trillion if the cattle, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, pigs and other animals were to be added up.
He said livestock contributes about 17 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Many people have not realised that this national asset not only needs protection but harnessing to be made a proper business.
“I am choosing Gombe because the governor has expressed willingness to support the initiative.
“The government will make Gombe a model for livestock,’’ the minister said.
He added that the Federal Government would do everything possible to create the atmosphere and enabling condition for the establishment of modern grazing reserves with all the facilities needed.
“I believe the state government will support the Federal Government in doing all this.
“Gombe State has the vast land for this.
“I heard the state has over 400 hectares that can be used.
“We will find out how we are going to come up with a joint project that will benefit the good people of the state,” he said.
Nanono also said that there were huge investments in the agricultural sector coming into the country very soon which would impact on the economy of any state that would embrace agriculture.
He appealed to state governments to harness the huge potentials that agriculture provides to improve the economy of their states and the well-being of their people.
Responding, Yahaya said since over 80 per cent of the people of the state engage in agriculture, any support that was needed would be provided in the interest of the state.
He said that there were 23 grazing reserves totalling 238 hectares in the state, adding that these could be harnessed to enhance the implementation of the Federal Government’s initiative in the state.
The governor expressed optimism that the initiative would bring development to the people and as such “ we will give the needed support to make it work in Gombe state.”