The Executive Governor of Benue state, Dr Samuel Ortom, has donated a Toyota Hilux van to Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria (PFAN), Benue State chapter to support the operations of the association. The governor made this donation when he received officials of the Association who presented an award to him on behalf of the Netherlands Alumni Association of Nigeria (Practical Training Center) at the Benue state people’s house Makurdi on 2nd September, 2020. The governor also announced the allocation of 4 hectares of land at the industrial layout Makurdi for the establishment of a market to facilitate the sales of pigs, pig products, and other farm inputs such as feeds and other equipment in the state. Dr Ortom who is also a pig farmer with over 4000 pigs and a private artificial insemination center for pigs promised to support the association in the procurement and installation of a world class pig processing facility to ensure that pigs are slaughtered under hygienic conditions that makes the meat safe and wholesome for consumption.
“I am proud of the fact that Benue state is the leading producer of pigs in Nigeria and I will continue to support the industry to make it grow to a level that Benue will no longer source pigs from anywhere to meet the increasing demand in the state. This will also create jobs for our women and youth and also bring about improvement in the livelihoods of the people”
The governor thanked the donors of the award for acknowledging his efforts and promised to do more to ensure that Benue state Swine project is upgraded to a level that it will not just meet the demands of the people of the state but conveniently supply other states and beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Earlier in her address, the leader of the delegation, Mrs Mary Iveren Aku who is the National treasurer of PFAN, stated that the contribution of the Benue state government in upgrading the pig industry in the state has gained both national and international recognition. Agency d’evaluation de la recherché et de l’enseignement superiue (AERES), a French academic research agency in conjunction with the Netherlands Alumni Association of Nigeria (practical training center) have seen these efforts and decided to honour the governor with an award.
“Our governor is not just supporting the pig industry in the state but he is also a pig farmer and has registered as a member of PFAN. We are happy to identify with his contributions in not just sustaining but upgrading the industry in the state”
Mrs Aku who is a former project manager of the Benue Swine project equally thanked the former governor of the state, Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam for initiating the project that has today made available pure breeds of pigs and highly proficient artificial insemination services to the growing number of pig farmers in the state. She stated that she is proud of the fact that Benue State today is one of the few states in the country with pure breeds of pigs and has remained the leading state with artificial insemination facilities for pigs. She enumerated the challenges of the pig industry in the state to include absence of a conventional market for pigs and pig products as it is obtainable for other livestock, absence of modern pig processing facility and lack of office accommodation for the association. She called on the government to intervene in these areas to further strengthen the industry.
The ocassion was attended by the deputy governor of the state Engineer Benson Abounu, the state’s Head of Service and other members of the state executive council, and the former governor of the state Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam. In a chat with Livestonews after the event, the chairman of Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria Benue State chapter, Dr Ronald Kparevzua appreciated Governor Ortom particularly for sustaining and preserving the pure line breeds of pigs in the state under the Benue Swine project. He also thank the governor for the move to establish a pig processing plant in the state that will bring about value addition to pigs produced in the state and give farmers more returns on their investment.
“Many farmers have now understood the comparative advantage of the pure breeds over the indigenous breeds and are gradually replacing them with the pure line breeds. We are hopeful that sooner than later, the indigenous breeds will be eliminated and farmers will have more value for their products”
Dr Kaprevzua who is a former Director of Veterinary Services in the state stated that Benue state is the only place you can find pure lines of pig breeds in the country and called on all Nigerians to always come to the state to source for pigs to establish their farms.
It will be recalled that Dr Torwua Suswam in 2012 imported pure breeds of pigs that included Large white, Landrace, and Duroc from Iowa in the United States of America and established the first artificial insemination facility for pigs in West Africa at the Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev under the Benue Swine project. This project has today brought about a tremendous increase in the number of pig farmers in Benue state and beyond. LIVESTONEWS.