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World Bank plans to inject $200m into Nigeria’s Agric sector to boost livestock

The World Bank has concluded plans to pump about $200m into Nigeria’s agricultural sector to revitalise the livestock sub-sector.

World Bank FADAMA Team Leader, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, revealed on Wednesday that the bank was working in tandem with the Federal Government to formulate the intervention policy.

He added that discussions with the government team on the modalities for the project execution had also started.

Oredipe said that essentially, the bank would revive the livestock sub-sector with critical intervention in the areas of productivity and access to markets.

“Productivity depends on a number of factors as it concerns the feeds which are very critical; the major problem of livestock production in the country is dearth of high-quality animal feeds, as the feeds determine what you get from your livestock.

“World Bank is also looking at critical health aspects of the livestock industry, the veterinary aspects, as we are merging it with the surveillance,’’ he said.

Besides, Oredipe said that the World Bank had approved $25m to revamp the animal health sector.

He said that the funds would be released via a World Bank regional project, adding that more than $90m had been earmarked for Nigeria.

“The initial $25m has been approved by the bank, and the project will take off as soon as the Federal government sorts out the issue with the National Assembly,’’ he said.

Oredipe also said that that the bank was working on developing key value chains in livestock, poultry and bee farming.

“The bank, under its value chains approach programme, has selected four value chains in crops and extended it to cover livestock, while developing it from the beginning to the end.

“Under the approach, we are looking at financing, breeding and processing issues as well as the industrial uses; so when you pick one you follow it till it becomes a success story,’’ he said.

Oredipe said that the bank was also making available a $2.1m grant to examine and develop the business environment in the livestock sub-sector.

He, however, said that there were series of reforms that would facilitate the efforts of livestock owners to change the business environment.

Oredipe said that the reform programme would be executed under the Livestock Micro Reforms Project, adding that the bank and government officials were now looking at the policy and business environment, with a view to perfecting them for the intervention.

He said that the World Bank’s focus on the livestock sub-sector was based on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The administration made it clear that they want the bank to critically look into the livestock sector because not much is going on in that sector,’’ he added.

He said that the livestock sub-sector accounted for a sizeable part of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product providing income, employment, food, farm energy, manure, fuel and transport.

Oredipe said that in the past, the livestock sub-sector was a major source of government revenue, adding that government was, therefore, making efforts to restore the lost glory of the sub-sector.

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