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The Edo State Government is making significant strides in livestock production to contribute to the national Gross Domestic Product(GDP), while also providing opportunities for agricultural development, poverty reduction, food security, and improved human nutrition. Speaking at the Veterinary Week/Livestock Farmers Forum in Benin City, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Stephen Idehenre, highlighted the empowering effects of the agricultural sector on rural women and youths and the improvement of natural resources when used effectively.

To boost livestock production, the State Government is promoting an agro-investment drive across the agricultural value chain, restructuring the Edo State College of Agriculture, and distributing essential livestock seeds and programs for vaccination of cattle, goats, sheep, and poultry against transboundary animal diseases across the State. Mr Idehenre disclosed that Governor Godwin Obaseki has also approved the construction of a modern veterinary hub to provide diagnostic services, laboratory, x-ray, scanning, and other facilities, enhancing the efforts of the Primary Animal Health Veterinary Clinic recently constructed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the State.

Furthermore, the State has key partnerships with Heifer Nigeria’s Naija Unlock Programme and the Livestock Productivity Resilience Support Project (L-PRES) to boost animal health and production. The veterinary week/livestock farmers forum was organised to raise awareness and disseminate information on modern techniques in livestock production, animal health, and disease prevention strategies. The Commissioner urged participants, veterinarians, various organisations, and investors to collaborate with the State Government in ensuring the sustainability of the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda and ensuring healthy livestock production in the State.

In his keynote address titled “The Livestock Problems and Prospects,” the Permanent Secretary, Transformation Office, Government House and National Vice President, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Dr Peter Aibuedefe Osagie, emphasised the need to rejig the livestock sector to meet the needs of the rising world population. The Chairman of the event, Dr Uhunmwunwaye Gregory Sylvester Osa, stated that the forum is the best thing that can happen to the livestock industry in the State, encouraging participants to establish contacts with veterinarians to improve their ventures.

The former Permanent Secretary, EdoSMAFS, and current Chairman, of the Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Edo State, Mr Peter Aikhuomoghogbe, also emphasised the need for collaboration between ASAN and Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to transform the livestock industry in Edo State into a mega-industry. He applauded the State Government for approving the construction of the NVMA Secretariat in the Agricultural Hub and pledged the support of ASAN to the State Government in achieving the Vision 2030 agenda in livestock production.

The event was attended by top officials, including the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Deborah Emakhimon Esq; Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Thomas Haruna; Director of Animal Husbandry Services, Eno Otamere; the Director of Fisheries, Nicholas Izekoh, the Chairman, NVMA, Edo State Chapter, Dr Chikwe Emmanuel; and Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Kingsley Imasuen. 

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