The Federal Government, on Wednesday, unveiled and inaugurated the National Animal Identification and Traceability System for Nigeria to identify and track livestock nationwide.
The government said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the National Livestock Transformation Plan, initiated the NAITS as a strategy to address the socio-economic and security challenges bedeviling the livestock sector and dearth of data for proper planning, among others.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar, who disclosed this in Abuja at the inauguration of the system, said technology was driven by digital transformation.
He said, “The ministry has been collaborating and will continue to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the NAITS for Nigeria is internationally recognised, efficient and effective to address the livestock data needs of the country.
“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.”
Abubakar added, “I am therefore particularly pleased that the inauguration of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System to enhance the activities of our domestic livestock sector is taking place at this time.”
He explained that the system was a comprehensive animal information management tool that would utilise 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,” the minister stated.
He added, “The successful implementation of NAITS will support livestock owners to identify their animals, curb livestock rustling, and facilitate interventions in the livestock sector.
“It will ensure the 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.”
He said animal identification and traceability were necessary in enabling Nigeria compete favourably in the African Continental Free Trade Area and would take Nigeria livestock and its products into the international market.
Abubakar said, “NAITS as part of the NLTP will be implemented in all 36 states and the FCT (Federal Capital Territory).
“It is therefore gratifying to note that, stakeholder engagement and sensitisation on NAITS have already commenced in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and FCT, and will continue until all states are covered.”