Experts at a sensitization meeting on sheep and goat value chain held in Gombe recently have projected that the value chain will provide over 450,000 jobs in the country in the year 2015.
Speaking during the occasion, Federal Livestock Desk Officer in the state, Ibrahim Umar Wali said the objective of the value chain was to among other things change sheep and goat production paradigm from the traditional low-input/low-output subsistence system to commercial intensive production by 2015.
He said the system will increase meat output from the current 440,109 metric tons to 585, 785 metric tons, adding that sheep and goat value chain is aimed at improving the household incomes and food security through improved performance and paradigm shift among players in the sheep and goat sector in Nigeria, and transforming the sector from subsistence level production to a viable and profitable commercial enterprise.
Wali said that the implementation of the project is divided into three phases with phase one focusing on the smallholder breeding and fattening schemes, the second phase is on small and medium scale intensive sheep and goat farms and the third phase will be focused on establishing disease-free zones, export abattoirs and improved local and international markets in 2015.
Earlier in his address at the occasion, Gombe State Director of Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), represented by Dr. J. S. Kpason, said ATA is targeting Nigerians to go into rearing of sheep and goat to increase skin production for our leather industries as Nigeria’s animal skin is adjudged the best in the world.
“On the international scene, Nigeria is ranked 5th in the production of sheep and goat but in spite of these comparative advantage, Nigeria does not export live animals or meat due to OIE, CODEX and WTO standards that require disease free flocks for export.
“Gombe State is the first state to make the list of 5,150 farmers for the sheep and goat value chain and equally the first to start the PPR vaccination on 2nd September, 2013,” he added.