In an effort to solve the issues plaguing the livestock industry, the Federal Government has implemented the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to identify, monitor, and prevent livestock rustling in Nigeria.
Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated during a recent event held in the Minister’s Conference room that the implementation of NAITS would assist livestock owners in identifying their animals, reduce livestock rustling, and facilitate interventions in the livestock sector. It will also facilitate the supply of financing and insurance, the management of livestock movement, the recording of animals for genetic improvement and research, the facilitation of traceability, surveillance, and the control of animal diseases, among others.
The Minister emphasized that the NAITS was a comprehensive animal information management system that would use tamper-resistant ear tags and cattle passports in conjunction with digital technology to identify and track livestock throughout Nigeria, noting that the system complies with the global standards outlined by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR).
In addition, he stated that technological innovation has rapidly increased productivity in all sectors of our economy, noting that 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.
In his words, “I am thus especially glad that the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) is being launched at this time to strengthen the activities of our domestic cattle industry.”
Continuing, he explained that the global trade requirements and consumer concerns for source of livestock and livestock products traded and consumed make animal identification and traceability essential to enable Nigeria to compete favorably in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and to introduce Nigerian livestock and livestock products to the international market.
Consequently, he stated that NAITS would be implemented in all 36 states and the FCT, noting that stakeholder engagement and sensitization on NAITS had already begun in Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, and the FCT, and would continue until all states were covered.
Previously, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Director of Human Resources Management, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Alade, explained that as part of the country’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, the animal identification and traceability system would facilitate the keeping of accurate production records of the herd and information about the owner, among other things.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, Etsu- Nupe, commended the Federal Government for the implementation of NAITS, noting that it would help to foster collaboration in the agricultural sector, provide significant benefits for agricultural landowners and farmers, and help to incentivize landowners to produce economic pasture that would support the livestock sector while at the same time boosting the economy.
The highlight of the ceremony was the opening of the office of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System within the ministry.
Etsu-Nupe, HRH, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, Development partners from Ranch ID, and Megacorp, among other stakeholders, were present.
Assistant Chief Information Officer Eremah Anthonia (Mrs.) For: Director of Information