Chi Farms, Zoetis partner on veterinary lab project
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has lauded CHI Farms and Zoetis for the establishment of City Laboratory, an ultra-modern veterinary diagnostic centre, commissioned in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Ogbeh who spoke through the Director and Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Olaniran Alabi, stated that the commissioning of the centre justifies the collaborative efforts of Federal Government and the private sector in providing essential tools needed for sustainable socio-economic growth in livestock development.
According to him, the livestock sub-sector contributes 5.8 per cent of National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides livelihood to over 30 per cent of the rural population.
He said for livestock business to remain profitable and sustainable in the face of growing population and demand for protein, it is important that animal diseases and epidemics are well controlled and eradicated.
He pointed out that the sub-sector is limited by a number of factors, such as the preponderance of a wide range of animal diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Peste des Petits Ruminant (PPR), and African Swine Fever (ASF), among others. He further stressed that for Nigeria to ensure a profitable livestock business for farmers, proper, efficient and accurate animal disease diagnosis need to be carried out.
Also speaking, the National President, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim said the poultry industry has been confronted with many challenges, especially losses as a result of disease outbreaks, which according to him has frustrated and crippled farmers’ investments, leaving them dejected and hopeless.
He acknowledged the efforts of National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in domesticating animal disease diagnosis, but pointed out that emerging challenges and changing trend in clinical manifestation of diseases calls for a more aggressive intervention.
In his opening remark, the Managing Director of Chi Farms Limited, Mr. Martin Middernacht, said the motive behind the establishment of City Laboratory in partnership with Zoetis is to assist livestock farmers raise healthy and profitable animals, as well as conduct research and come up with vaccines based on tests conducted.
Also, the Regional Director Zoetis, Sub-Sahara Africa, Mr. Gabriel Varga, stated that the partnership of his organisation with Chi Farms is basically to assist poultry farmers to realise their full potentials.
Varga further stated that similar laboratories would be opened in different parts of the country in subsequent phases of the A.L.P.H.A project.
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