A total of 35 youths and women have been trained and equipped in the process of breeding sheep and rams as a means of livelihood to eradicate poverty.
The training was conducted by IVIE general contractors in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Sciences (NIAS) under the empowerment of vulnerable groups in the selected value chains in pastoralist communities in Bauchi State.
At the end of the one-day training held at the Stables Plaza in Bauchi on Saturday, each of the participants received one sheep and one ram as well as starter packs which contained some of the nutritional substances required to make the animals healthy just as they were also presented with certificates of training.
In his remarks, the Head, the Department of Training and Internship, Nigerian Institute of Animal Sciences (NIAS), Dr Babatunde Fola Adebayo said that “We are here in Bauchi to empower some pastoralists on how to rear sheep in Bauchi communities. We are giving them basic training on how to rear in a semi-professional way”.
He added that “Apart from that, we are also empowering with some starter packs that include male and female sheep, the wind male and female sheep to empower them as rural households to be able to improve on their livelihood”.
According to him, the actual number of participants is 35 comprising females and males who are mostly youths who were selected from various communities across the State.
He said that “We ensure that we had a sizeable number of females among them in order to maintain some gender balance. In terms of naira and kobo, if I can not mistaken, it is around the sum of N10m. Considering the cost of procuring the animals, treatment to ensure that they are healthy, facilitation and allowance to everyone involved in the process.”
Babatunde Adebayo stressed that the animals were carefully selected to ensure that they are the best breed that will yield the expected dividends to the farmers.
On effective supervision, he said that “As you can see today before we selected them, we already got their statistics, so we have a Monitoring and Evaluation part of the project fully put in place, I can assure you that they are going to be monitored.”
“After today, we are going to be following them up to ensure that they judiciously utilise the starter packs we have given them and we have their phone numbers. The way we operate in the Institute, we have zonal officers, the Zonal Officer in charge of the North-East is here, he is going to closely monitor them and he will ensure that he follows up,” he assured.
He stressed that “even if they need other technical support, he will be available to help. Our target is to ensure that the project did not fail”.
Also speaking, a Professor of Animal Sciences, Saleh Mohammed Sir of the Federal University, Kashere in Gombe State said that the importance of the training cannot be overemphasised considering that expertise is required in the breeding of sheep.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Kashere assured that the NIAS will continue to be at the forefront of the revolution of animal health and breeding in the country as is applicable across the world.
He too gave assurance that the beneficiaries of the programme will be monitored effectively to ensure that the objectives were not missed stressing that the aim is to have more beneficiaries next year.
Some of the beneficiaries of the project commended NIAS for selecting them to take part in the training assuring that they put the lessons learnt to effective use by ensuring that the animals are well taken care of in line with the training instructions.
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