Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative to Nigeria, Mr Suffyan Koroma, has said that the organisation will hold a livestock development conference in August to address challenges in the sector.
Koroma made the disclosure when he presented his letter of commission to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the conference was part of the organisation’s support to improve the utilisation of grazing reserves in the country.
“Our support to improve the utilisation of grazing reserves and stock routes to mitigate conflicts and promote commercialised stock production has led to calls for a national conference on livestock development.
“The conference is expected to come up with comprehensive recommendations to address all issues associated with grazing reserves and livestock production; this will happen sometime this month.
“We are also looking at developing a national dialogue for the livestock policy development,” he said.
Koroma further said that the activities of the FAO to respond to the crisis in the northeast was “fully aligned” with the intervention initiative of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
He added that FAO supported Nigeria’s economic growth plan and agricultural promotion policy aimed at reducing food and agricultural imports and boosting exports.
“The strong confidence my UN colleagues have in my technical and leadership ability led to revised implementation modalities of the UN sustainable development framework for Nigeria.
“It also put FAO as the lead agency for the diversified economic growth outcome area which is a key aspiration for Nigeria within the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.”
In his response, the foreign affairs minister commended the FAO’s response to the crisis in the northeast.
He said that the resumption of the new country representative would contribute to “more holistic approach to putting agriculture front and centre of our development goals”.
Onyeama also commended the organisation’s initiative to organise a livestock development conference adding that the transhumance crisis needed to be addressed sub-regionally.
“This has led to conflict and security issues and it is one of the items we also want to place on the sub-regional agenda of ECOWAS because it is not just a national issue.
“The transhumance aspect of it is significant and we have to adopt a sub-regional approach to addressing that issue; the national conference to address that will be important,” he said.
Azubike Nnadozie, with Agency reports