The Federal Government, Wednesday, launched the National Animal Identification System and Traceability System (NAITS), to transform the nation’s livestock industry.
The launch was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Abubakar in his address told stakeholders drawn from 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 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.
According to him, the successful implementation would address menace of cattle rustling, proper identification of cattle and non-ruminants, easy traceability, provision of credit, insurance, and others.
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He also assured that NAITS is part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, and will be implemented in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and added that stakeholder engagements and sensitization on NAITS have already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT.
He said: “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 Ministry has been collaborating and will continue to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the National Animal Identification and Traceability System for Nigeria is internationally recognised, efficient and effective to address the livestock data needs of the country.
“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.
“As you are all aware, technology advancements have rapidly enhanced productivity across all sectors of our economy. The progress made so far to actualise Animal Identification and Traceability in Nigeria as well as other innovations in Agriculture have been largely driven by digital transformation which has produced exponential results.
“I am therefore particularly pleased that the launching of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to enhance the activities of our domestic livestock sector is taking place at this time.
“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.
“This system complies with the global standards stipulated by the International Committee for Animal Recording, ICAR.”
He (Abubakar) also pointed that global trade requirements and consumer concerns for source of livestock and livestock products traded and consumed makes animal identification and traceability very necessary, and that it would “enable Nigeria compete favourably in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and launch Nigeria livestock and livestock products into the international market.”