From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The quality of the contribution of pastoralists towards national development in the national economy has been emphasized.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) Professor Rashid Adewumi Aderinoye made this remark in his address during the consultative meeting with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Kaduna. According to him, “pastoralists’ contribution to the national economy in terms of the provision of beef, diary and other related products, hide and skin, employment opportunities need not be over emphasized. The quality of the pastoralists’ contribution towards national development would be enhanced if they adopt modern techniques of
modern animal husbandry practices and to be able to do this, educational and acquisition of relevant and functional skills in all fields of human endeavor must be placed on the front burner,” he said. Professor Aderinoye said the main aim of the round table meeting was to share experiences and best practices in providing relevant and functional basic education to the nomads as well as develop lasting areas of collaboration and partnership for the overall development of the nomadic education program in particular and pastoralists in general.
He said livestock development and empowerment of pastoralists is plagued by a number of problems which include diminishing availability of land space for grazing, incessant conflicts leading to displacement and loss of lives and properties and skewed agricultural development policies as well as lack of education and relevant training among others.
Therefore, he said, to address these challenges, the provision of education and training is of paramount importance for nomadic pastoralists.
“The Commission’s crafted innovative relevant and integrated solutions to address the manifold challenges and barriers related to rural development in physically isolated nomadic areas remain paramount. The commission’s intervention shows great potential for scaling up with regards to client populations of several millions particularly in grazing reserves.
“The National Commission for Nomadic Education in the discharge of its mandate has been collaborating and partnering with Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and International Development Partners (IDPs) working for the overall development of pastoralists and livestock development in Nigeria, he said.
Speaking earlier Alhaji Baba Usman Ngerzarma, the National Secretary MACBAN expressed optimism of anticipated cordial working relationship with the commission.
He however appealed that challenges being faced by the pastoralists should be looked into and given due considerations.