Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has declared the state’s willingness to key into Federal Government’s Livestock Agricultural Production Project when a team from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with World Bank paid a visit to the Government House, Awka on Thursday.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke, said livestock business, which was highly lucrative, would help to improve the economy of the state.
He said the state was ready to develop its livestock business, but pointed out that non-availability of animal feeds was one of the problems affecting the industry.
The team’s spokesperson, Winnie Ifeoma Lai-Solarin, said they came to assess the livestock industry in Anambra in preparation for the $200 million World Bank credit to enhance productivity and resilience policy value in the industry.
‘Livestock industry has over the years suffered setbacks and neglect in addition to being bedevilled by crisis raging between herders and farmers. The livestock industry is a sleeping giant in Nigeria,” Lai-Solarin said.
She added that the team would visit 21 states in the country in preparation for the project, noting that the four major components of the industry are institutional strengthening; enhancement of the performance value chain; management of the natural resources, and development of conflict eradication strength.
“Anambra stands tall among other states and has shown its willingness to key into the project; we were able to see livestock potential in Anambra and commitment by the state farmers,’’ she said.
She then revealed that there was institutional synergy of the state to turn its comparative advantage to productive purposes and promised smooth process of the project in the state.
Earlier, the state commissioner for agriculture, Afam Mbanefo, listed some of the achievements in the agricultural sector, saying the state had recently commercialised some of its agricultural produce, in addition to having its branded ‘Anambra rice’ and ‘Anambra fufu.’
The commissioner assured them that the state would soon pay the N20 million state counterpart fund in support of the project, which would officially commence in January next year.
“Livestock industry is one of the projects in which the state has signified its interest and we believe this is quite a good one for Anambra,’’ he said.