Nigeria launches animal traceability system to curb rustling, banditry

The Federal government has launched the National Identification and Traceability System (NATIS) for livestock which is aimed at addressing some of the challenges confronting the country such as banditry and animal rustling.

The NATIS which is an initiative championed by Megacorp Nigeria Limited and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also targets at creating opportunities for Nigerian livestock farmers to sell their products at the international market.

A consultant on the project, Jazuli Bichi said what the project aims to address is cattle rustling, banditry and to protect investments in the livestock sector.

“What we are looking at is trying to solve a national problem, all these issues of cattle rustling, banditry because the country has not gotten it right for a long time.

“This type of activity being proposed by Megacorp and the ministry is targeted at addressing the majority of these problems because we cannot go and establish commercial livestock farms even near the towns because of the effect of what will happen to the investment, and this is the sector that holds the key to the survival of the country in terms of meat supply and milk supply.

“So we need to safeguard investment in terms of livestock production, one of the means is this programme, so that at the end of the day, nobody will have the incentive of stealing someone’s animal or rustling cattle from a larger population”, he said.

The Registrar of Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Professor Eaustace Iyayi said NIAS fully supports the effort to bring about the National Identification and Traceability System.

He said the project is important both for the security aspect and the economic aspect of the country.

“I know that past efforts have been made but didn’t really go far, we are pleased that the department has been able to push it to this extent, we are very confident that something good is going to come out and we are going to have a system that is going to be put in place that will help us to address all the issues that are related to animal and animal production in this country.

“We need to identify the animals for security reasons and for ownership reasons and also as a factor against theft and rustling. We need to also have a system by which these animals are traced for disease surveillance and also for market accessibility.

“We cannot access the international market with our products on animal if we do not have a traceability system, they are not going to open the doors for us”, he added

The National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and the President-elect of the Association, Baba Othman Ngelzarma said the project will solve some of the problems herders are facing in the country

“This programme is our child. We started it together with Megacorp before bringing in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, as it is now, we have signed a collaboration agreement with the Ministry and Megacorf, so I am happy to see the progress of an initiative that we initially started.

“It will go a long way in solving some of the security challenges that we are bedevilling our members across the country”, he stated.

Director of Animal Husbandry Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Winnie Lai-Solarin, explained that “our animals will be identified, we will be able to trace them, we will be able to encourage farmers to keep proper records, the African Continental Free trade Area is where Nigeria should take pride in and actually come up tops, but without being able to trace and identify our animals, we will not be able to compete favourably.



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