In this post we look at the Problems and Prospects of Livestock Industry in Nigeria. Livestock production has indeed contributed immensely to the protein need of humankind, as it is claimed to contribute too, to the socioeconomic growth of Nigerian state particularly, through its commercial farming with modern technique, and it is expected to enhance development in a way that will guaranteed food sufficiency.
Over the years, animal production has been an avenue for wealth and job creation, hundred of thousands of youths within the Nigerian state have been engaged in one form of production or the other within this agricultural subsector.
With the growing population of the Nigerian state, animal production is also expected to grow in this magnitude so as to meet the needs of the nation, where there will be availability of meat, milk, egg, for human consumption as well as manure for crop production.
In the area of job creation, a good number of Nigerians have been employed in this agricultural subsector. Some directly involved in raring of catle, cow, goats, sheeps.
Others are in piggery, poultry etc. A good number of them majored in meat and animal skin production, milk production, those in poultry farming produced both meat and eggs.
Others too majored in manure production from animal faeces for crop production. Livestock production has engaged so many in the sector.
The diversification of Nigerian economy by Nigerian government away from oil particularly, to agriculture has been a welcome development as many are encouraged to take to mechanized farming with modern technology approach.
A good number of Nigerian have been taken off the street into agriculture farming particularly, in the area of animal production with mouth-watering grants and loans to take off with the business.
So livestock Industry has been one of the fastest growing labour employers in Nigeria.
As a source of food to the growing population of Nigerian state, animal production has sustains life more than any other sources of food production within the agricultural sector.
Being a major source of protein, livestock production has contributed in keeping Nigerians well and healthy, even as it contributed consistently to the advancement of food for all policy.
In animal production plants are used for animal food, and these are the same animals whose faeces are used as manure in crop production hence, the money spent by Nigerian government on fertilizer is drastically reduced.
This is one among other economic important of animal production. Most of the shoes, belts we wore are made out of the animal production.
So you can now imagine the impact livestock Industry has made in the nation, economically and socially.
Inspite of the contribution it has made socioeconomically to the growth of the Nigerian state, the industry however, is challenged with some issues that are begging for attention.
Much of what we enjoyed today as a result of animal production, are really produced by way of traditional methods, that is, small scale method, as farmers are not buoyant enough in terms of Finance, and the modern technology to go into commercial or large scale production are not there.
Though some of the food taken, for example, by cattle are natural, for instance, grass, not every part of the country has this endowment and so, to go into say, cattle production, where there is non of this natural endowment, then you perhaps need a lot of money to go into cattle business.
Many Nigerian who are into animal production lack the requisite knowledge of animal husbandry. With little grants and loans they get from the government, they do not have what it takes, the modern know-how to go about the business in commercial dimension, they are not investing in relevant literature or a body of knowledge that can direct or instruct them on how to go about animal husbandry
In view of the Nigerian economic reality, coupled with the growing population of this country, there is need for sufficient food production as the population keeps increasing on daily basis.
No country can be successful unless it can feeds its citizens and keep them healthy. Animal production is promising, if only the government will channel resources into this subsector, and as well encourage commercial or large scale production so as to meet the demand for food in this country.
However, livestock Industry has indeed contributed immensely to the government policy of food for all, there are some challenges facing the industry, and the way forward is far the government to pay close attention to this sector of the economy since it has reiterated its readiness to diversify Nigerian economy, it is glaring that agriculture will command a lot of attention in this regard hence, the government should encourage the youths the more in agriculture business by way of inducement, by that, I mean creating attractive conditions such as training the youths on how to go on commercial production.
They should be updated with modern technique on how to run the business, if need be, they can go for training outside the country.
And I believe there is need for technology transfer since agriculture is the only promising sector that will boost the nation’s economic status, given the current economic reality in the nation.
I will also suggest that relevant bodies be empowered to conduct research on how to engage in the agriculture project for profitability.
Many of the Nigerian youths, because of oppression, they hate agriculture business, in view of this, they should be encouraged with a lucrative scheme.
A new scheme should be introduced, where the government will support the teeming youths with financial assistance for them to be able to run their business of animal production.
Animal husbandry contributed to well over 65 percent of the nation’s economic growth.
The federal government should launch a scheme that empowers states to embark on animal production such that is peculiar to the individual state, because all the states cannot produce the same animal, because climate and location differs.
Disease control must be of interest to animal producers, because if one is infected, then all is in danger. Government should take this as important by making sure that all the necessary vaccine that will help control animal disease are available to the farmers and at affordable prices.
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