The Sheep and Goat Farmers Association of Nigeria (SHEGOFAN) has pledged to increase animal production in the country.
The National President of SHEGOFAN, Wahabi Salami who made the pledge in an interview with Journalists in Ibadan, Oyo state said farmers had resolved to work tirelessly to improve the quality of small ruminants (sheep and goat) produced in the country and ensure food sufficiency in the country.
Salami explained the association organised training sessions on wealth creation through sheep and goat production with the aim to improve household income and food security through improved performance and a paradigm shift among players in the sheep and goat sector.
According to him, the group is determined to transform the sector from subsistence-level production to viable and profitable commercial enterprises.
“The skin from sheep and goat can be processed to produce leather; a skin costs N50, 000 per one in USA.
“One cannot compare small ruminants with poultry and piggery in terms of their usefulness during occasions and festive periods; more so, they require small space to rear unlike cattle.
“They can be a variant of backyard farming and their wastes droppings can be used as manure for planting vegetables,” he said.
He further emphasised that in Africa, small ruminants provide almost 30 per cent of the meat consumed and around 16 per cent of the milk produced.
Salami added that sheep and goat provide about 50 percent of the total domestically produced meat in Nigeria.
He therefore called on the Federal Government to assist the group in capacity building, provision of funds, inputs, land tax well as other incentives.