NIGERIA – Nigeria has launched the country’s first online livestock market that will connect both the buyers and sellers on a 24-hour basis, every day of the week, reports ThisDay.

The system called, will allow organized transactions by linking different players in the sector including livestock stakeholders, buyers, sellers, ranchers, livestock merchants, veterinary professionals, butcheries/abattoirs, haulage and logistics companies and financial services providers

It also ensures customers get access to the most effective, convenient and healthy livestock.

Livestock sales are enabled by the use of animal identification and traceability technology that includes identification elements, databases and information base.

This development compliments the government efforts in regulating, structuring, transforming and promoting investments in the livestock sector.

Using innovation to tackle sector challenges not only seeks to provide a convenient marketplace for livestock transactions but also seeks to use disruptive innovations to mitigate spread of zoonotic diseases, with the listing of only fit-for-slaughter and traceable livestock on the platform.

According to the World Organization of Animal Health Countries (OIE), 60% of existing human infectious diseases are Zoonotic (diseases that transmit from animals to humans).

And, at least 75% of emerging infectious diseases of humans (including Ebola, HIV and Influenza) has an animal origin.

It complements the Federal Government of Nigeria’s National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), whose fundamental goals include ending farmer-herder crisis, and encourage investments in the sector.

With the platform, farmers and buyers will be able to connect from anywhere in the country.

“ is the triangle of Commerce, Health and Technology. What started, as keying into the NLTP initiative and the O.I.E. directive was made more innovative and unique by creating an online platform that enables all three cardinals.

“The technology deployed on is multi-dimensional and will impact development within the livestock sector, create more jobs and trigger growth of the economy,” said Ibrahim Maigari, CEO

Rising demand and export potential

According to a national survey released by FMARD in 2016, Nigeria has 19.5 million cattle, 41.5 million sheep and 72.5 million goats and 95% of the national herd is under pastoralist/smallholder management, though this is not sufficient to meet demand from a rapidly growing population (projected to reach 450 million in 2050).

Demand in developing country is outpacing that of developed, and ILRI estimates that demand in developing countries will reach 250 million metric tonnes in 2030, while that of developed countries will be around 100 million plus.

Despite being a key livestock producer, the country is said to be lacking functional animal identification and traceability system ideal for legal exports.

The new marketplace looks to increase production, enhance market access, improve adherence to standards and explore new markets.