Stakeholders call for private sector driven livestock masterplan

The Federal Government has been called urged to subject its draft masterplan on the livestock value chain to stakeholders’ review and input while allowing the implementation to be private-sector driven

This was the conclusion of a policy roundtable with the theme “Developing Sustainable National Livestock Value Chains Master plan” organised by the Policy Advocacy Center of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in Abuja.

The roundtable attended by 30 participants from private and public sectors was chaired by the ACCI President, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, who called on the Federal Government to give room for a well-developed livestock value chain masterplan to address security challenges, boost economic prosperity and increase Gross Domestic Product.

“It is our view within the private sector that the livestock sector holds a prime position for wealth creation, employment expansion and GDP growth. We need a truly developed value chain system to be private-sector driven. We should learn from our national policy experience that policies driven by the private sector always turn out to be sustainable and successful.

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“In the 70s, three value chain policies were adopted and implemented by the government. The maize and poultry chains which were private sector driven succeeded. The cattle chain handled by the states failed. That is why we are here today. If we are to address the cattle chain, we should learn to trust the private sector,” the ACCI President said.

Corroborating the ACCI boss, the keynote speaker and a retired federal director of livestock, Dr Junaidu Maina affirmed that past livestock chain policies failed because stakeholders especially the private sector were excluded from the implementation, he advised that the present plan should be subjected to private sector review and analysis.

“The present plan was a product of a conference we organised while in service. But we did not envisage a public sector-led implementation plan. We must break down the livestock value chain to the lowest level. This is business and that is the purview of the private sector,” he said.

Another farmer and agriculture specialist, Dr Femi Ajisafe posited that government should allow ranching that is private sector-driven which he said can be embarked upon by any farmer from any tribe.

“Livestock business is open to all tribes. You don’t have to do open grazing. You can run a diary farm, a feedlot and others with a limited land space. The government should allow private sector livestock entrepreneurs to design and implement the policy. In reality, there is no National Livestock Value Chain plan in Nigeria today. What we have is more or less a political document, the type that has failed us in the past,” Ajisafe said.

The Coordinator of ACCI Policy Centre,  Mr Olawale Rasheed said the report of the dialogue will be submitted to the relevant governmental authority for action, adding that “the roundtable unanimously agreed that the existing policy is deficient with a call for a policy conference to inject private-sector perspectives.”

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