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Livestock industry key to economic growth

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By Usman Oladimeji

Establishment of the livestock ministry is expected to boost the sector.

According to Baba Othman-Ngelzarma, President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nigeria’s Livestock industry has the potential to greatly enhance the country’s Economy if fully harnessed. He made this statement in a media programme following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s announcement of a new ministry for livestock development. Baba cited Lagos’s 1.8 million annual cattle consumption and 6,000 cows consumed every day, as evidence of the sector’s potential. He voiced hope that the production, processing, transportation, management, and Security of cattle will all be revolutionized by the new ministry. Baba praised President Tinubu for establishing the ministry at this crucial juncture.

Nigeria’s growing population and substantial meat consumption make the country’s cattle industry extremely promising economically. The new ministry seeks to grow and streamline the industry in order to generate jobs and strengthen the economy. To fully realise this potential, veterinary services, supply networks, and livestock Infrastructure must be managed and invested in properly. President Bola Tinubu’s establishment of the Ministry for Livestock Development is a critical step in realizing the potential of the industry. Stakeholders have mostly praised this action and anticipate significant economical advantages.

₦2.5tr investment in the industry over the next five years.

The Presidential Committee on Implementation of Livestock Reforms has been established by President Bola Tinubu to eliminate barriers to agricultural production and create new opportunities that will benefit farmers, herders, processors, and distributors along the livestock farming value chain. Professor Attahiru Jega, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was named co-chairman of the committee by the president. President Tinubu underlined that the committee’s members—who are chosen from the public and commercial sectors, state governors, and all Nigerians—must work together to achieve the reforms.

It was disclosed that Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, would support automation while Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, would see to it that all legal barriers to the reforms’ implementation are removed. In 2023, it was announced that the country will spend more than ₦2.5 trillion in the livestock industry over the next five years. This Investment was a component of a plan that was put up to encourage sustainable reforms pertaining to livestock and lessen associated disputes.

Government has implemented a number of regulations.

Moreover, Nigeria has a vast population of cattle, goats, and sheep, but over time, the industry has lagged behind that of its contemporary. With little investment in contemporary practices and infrastructure, traditional pastoralism has dominated the cattle agricultural industry. Although there have been intermittent attempts by previous governments to enhance the industry, obstacles like disease outbreaks, inadequate infrastructure, farmers-herders conflict have impeded development. Over thirty percent of rural Nigerians work in the industry, which also makes up eight to twelve percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

An estimated 300,000 metric tonnes of Poultry meat are produced each year. It is estimated that 570 million litres of milk are produced annually. Nonetheless, almost 70 percent of Nigeria’s dairy requirements are imported, demonstrating a discrepancy between local output and demand. There are over 20 million cattle, about 72 million goats, about 41 million sheep, over 180 million chicken birds, and about 7.5 million pigs in Nigeria. To further grow the sector, the government has implemented a number of regulations to support the livestock business, with an emphasis on disease control, better breeding standards, and sustainable farming methods.

Related Article: Livestock production is key to economy growth

Approaches to settle disputes between farmers and herders are being developed by the government and other relevant parties. There is a push to support environmentally friendly animal production methods. These changes point to a determined attempt to revive Nigeria’s cattle industry, which has the potential to greatly strengthen the country’s economy, generate employment, and increase Food Security. It is anticipated that the industry’s progress in the upcoming years will be ensured and good change will be driven by a concentration on sustainability, innovation, and market growth.


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