[dropcap type=”2″]A[/dropcap] consultant to the World Bank, Prof Abel Ogunwale, has urged the restructuring of the livestock industry in a sustainable and competitive manner that will lead to economic growth.
Ogunwale, who is of Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, said the industry needs a major policy shift targeted at small farmers and those engaged in commercial livestock agriculture.
He urged the government to improve access to fund in order to encourage farmers to move from small-scale to large-scale farming. He said favourable government policies were needed to support animal-husbandry enterprises so they can have sufficient capital and engage in technology transfer.
[quote_left]While there have been focus on improving crop production, Ogunwale said the government should direct its action to strengthening animal health systems and the whole livestock value chain. This, according to him, would lead to sustained income of farmers as well as improving general nutrition for animal products.[/quote_left]
He urged the government to support the livestock and veterinary services to procure vaccines and enable farmers access to better animal health services.
In the absence of financial resources and technical expertise, he said the sector has not experienced growth, while the operating condition has remained challenging for farmers.
Farms, he said, should be restructured so that productivity and quality could be improved.
He called for support for research in livestock production that would lead to an improvement in quality and productivity, while increasing the income of farmers.