By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Federal Government, yesterday announced securing €400,000 grant to kick off National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, in four states.
In a statement by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Project for Agricultural Coordination and Planning, PACE, President Muhammadu Buhari, secured the grant from the Dutch Investment Agency, RVO, after approval of the grant, which Buhari signed an Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, during his visit to the Netherlands.
The states for the NLTP include Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.
The statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari who was accompanied by members of the FMARD-PACE Team, on a two-day visit to the Nasarawa State Livestock Transformation Office to ensure that the State Livestock Transformation team was fully aware of the requirements for successful implementation of the pilot, said the €400,000 covered 50 per cent cost of the pilot start-up of NLTP model in Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist households with a start date of March, 2021.
He said: “On the back of the MoU signed during the State visit of Mr. President to the Netherlands, the Dutch Investment Agency (RVO) approved a grant of about 400,000 Euros to cover 50% cost of the pilot start-up of NLTP model in Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist households with a start date of March, 2021.
“In each of these states, a pilot farm, which will also serve as a training centre, will be developed. Cownexxion (the lead consultant in this bilateral collaboration, leading the Dutch Consortium; the Holland Dairy House Group) will serve as technical partner for the implementation of the NLTP pilot ranches in Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.”
“Cownexxion, is a leading Dutch consultancy focused on dairy farming. It has carried out projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Company is experienced in improving technical and economic performance of dairy farming systems.”
According to the statement the focus of the two and a half -year project will be on feed production, transfer of knowledge and skills plus the transformation of management. Cownexxion will work together with the Nigerian Federal and State teams, led by Dr Andrew Kwasari.
He (Kwasari) maintained that the NLTP is an answer to the farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria.
“To date 20 State Governors and the FCT have indicated interest in implementing the NLTP. The NLTP has six pillars covering conflict resolution, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development, economic investment and cross cutting issues relating to gender, youth, research, information and strategic communications”, he said.
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