NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched the National Animal Identification System and Traceability System (NAITS) to solve some of the challenges faced in the livestock sector.

The system tech is part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) meant to foster greater prosperity through reforms that will make the livestock sector “more productive and sustainable” at the same time that it encourages peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who launched the system at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, said it would address the menace of cattle rustling, proper identification of cattle and non-ruminants, easy traceability, provision of credit, insurance, and others due to the use of technology.

While addressing journalists after the launching, Abubakar told stakeholders drawn from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), cattle breeders, and others, that the benefits of the technology which is the 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.

Abubakar assured that NAITS will be implemented in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, and added that stakeholder engagements and sensitization had already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT.

“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,” he said.

The National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) is a comprehensive animal information management system that will identify and track animals throughout Nigeria using digital technology, forgery-proof ear tags, and cattle passports.

“These database will provide full visibility on the livestock sector, especially the pastoralists who have felt marginalized and unfairly treated by the society despite being essential in the agricultural sector in Nigeria,” said Abubakar.

He also stressed that NAITS would address issues affecting the livestock subsector, while promoting greater cohesion and harmony among communities.

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