The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said the livestock sector offered unprecedented opportunities for Nigeria’s economic recovery efforts, adding that the sector employs around 30 percent of the rural population.
The bank, however, lamented that the sector contributes less than 10 percent of agricultural gross domestic product (GDP). He expressed optimism that the demand for livestock products will increase in the coming years, as the sector has the greatest capacity to create a multiplier effect.
AfDB Nigeria Country Office Director General Lamin Barrow said this at the 10th Annual Joint Meeting of the Nigeria Animal Science Association and the Nigerian Institute of Animal Sciences, held in Uyo , in Akwa Ibom State.
He said: “At present, the livestock sector employs around 30 percent of the rural population, but contributes less than 10 percent of agricultural GDP. This could increase considerably if investments are made to increase productivity and promote the creation of added value.
“The demand for livestock products is expected to increase in the coming years. With a population expected to double from over 200 million today to nearly 400 million by 2050, coupled with rapid urbanization, consumption of poultry, beef and milk is expected to increase by 253%, 117% and 577 % cent respectively.
“In the production sectors, livestock has the greatest capacity to create a multiplier effect and it is estimated that each additional dollar spent will generate, at the household level in sub-Saharan Africa, $ 2.9 in primary animal production and 5, $ 4 in processing animal products, ”he said.
Barrow noted that the main players in animal production are smallholders, ranchers and entrepreneurs, while large commercial farms are few but expanding, especially in the poultry sub-sector.
“The total annual production of milk, meat and eggs amounts to 0.5 billion liters, 1.4 and 0.6 million tons, respectively. Livestock provide increased economic stability to rural households in the form of cash reserves, as a reserve of capital, and creates protection against inflation.
“Driven by strong consumer demand, the livestock sub-sector has grown 12.7% above the agricultural growth rate of 6.8%,” he said.
He said that one example of what AfDB is doing under Feed Africa is the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, launched in 2018 and currently being implemented in 27 African countries, including Nigeria, where TAAT supported products such as wheat, corn, rice. and aquaculture technologies.
“In close collaboration with the private sector, initiatives such as TAAT will help increase Africa’s total food production by 120 million metric tons and benefit 12 million families over the next five years,” he said. he adds.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Sciences, Professor Baba Abubakar, said that the 5th NIAS Council was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture earlier this year, shortly after, after which the board had initiated activities essential to reposition the NIAS for increased effectiveness.
He said some of these activities include reviewing the activities of certain critical bodies such as NIAS Consultancy Services Ltd., the Board of Fellows and the Postgraduate School.
“We have also taken a major step forward on the issue of establishing new livestock research institutes and hopefully this should gain ground in the coming year.
“In addition, the Board is expected to approve a very strong and detailed five-year strategic plan (2022-2026) by the end of this year. The Institute is currently working with the National Council for Technical Education (NBTE) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) on livestock education programs for the acquisition of skills by mid-level workers, which will lead to their certification for skilled work beyond international borders, ”it is noted.
Prof Abubakar said the institute has also been recognized by the NBTE as the Sector Skills Council for Agriculture and Livestock, which opens up a wide range of opportunities for NIAS to develop and validate educational programs. ” studies in breeding for workers / assistants in the industry, including their training.
“Over time and thanks to the efforts of the Institute, several states have created departments of breeding services, which is a major achievement for our profession,” he added.