NIGERIA – Nigeria Livestock Industry estimated to be currently worth N30 trillion (US$77.3 billion), is projected to hit N50 trillion (US$128.8 billion) over the next decade showing an annual growth rate of 12.7 per cent, according to the Director General of the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science, Prof. Eustace Iyayi.

The current worth of the industry constitutes approximately 20 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and will be more than 30 per cent at the rate of the 10-year projected figure against today’s GDP.

Prof. Iyayi cited that the right structures to ensure attainment of the projected growth include proper infrastructure for value chain development, expansion and sustenance, financing, research and development for new breeds, and capacity development of operators.

In spite of the growth rate, Prof. Iyayi argued that the industry is grossly under producing with the country still importing 70 per cent of its beef and 25 per cent of poultry.

With a milk consumption of about 1.3 million metric tons annually, the country meets the demand with 60 per cent importation, reports This Day.

Steps that need to be undertaken in charting the way forward to actualise the growth potential of the industry highlighted by the Professor include improving on the breeds of the livestocks so as to maximise their genetic potential.

Also, he recommended for the adoption of ranching for beef and dairy cows as rearing them in confinement will lead to their improved productivity.

For livestock producers he advocated for them to be incentivised in terms of input subsidy in addition to development of value chains for the poultry and livestock species.

“This way people will see livestock production as agribusiness, leading to expansion of markets and business opportunities in the sub-sector,” he stated.

Asked what ready markets are there for Nigerian livestock exports when the country becomes self-sufficient, Prof. Iyayi said, “For some of the products, we are already exporting. Our eggs are exported to several sub-regional countries, especially up north.”

He revealed that with the efforts undertaken by the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science and other relevant stakeholders, feed producers now have a registered association known as the Feed Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria (FIPAN).

FIPAN is registered with the International Feed Industry Foundation (IFIF) of the FAO. Coupled with the country’s regulatory activities, its goal is to have a formidable feed sub-sector that can export its products to the global market.

For other commodities such as poultry meat, beef, milk, hides, and skin he indicated that much work needs to be done first to satisfy the internal market before export.

“Our institute is already facilitating this by using a regulatory model that is helping to upscale businesses in the feed, hatchery and poultry sub-sectors through maintaining international best practices.”

“This is being expanded to other sectors of the livestock industry as well. We also engage the relevant stakeholders to know their challenges and how best to help overcome such,” he stated.

The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science was established by the National Assembly Act No. 26 of 2007 under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as a regulatory agency for Animal Science practice with powers to regulate all matters pertaining to Animal husbandry in Nigeria.

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