As Nigeria looks forward to agriculture as a major source of economic diversification, livestock farming is becoming one of the most sought-after aspects of agriculture. From its large investment return and profitability to its huge significant contribution to the country’s GDP, the impact of livestock farming cannot be overemphasized.
In the third quarter of 2020, the contribution of livestock farming to Nigeria’s GDP increased by 2.3% compared to 2019. This shows the industry is ever-growing, contributing a total of 6- 8% to Nigeria’s GDP. Source: World Bank, 2017.
With the diverse nature of the industry, a lot of questions have been raised as to which livestock business is the most profitable, In Nigeria today, cattle farming is ranked not only as the most expensive livestock but as one of the most profitable livestock farming/business.
In this article, we would discuss the economic importance of cattle farming in Nigeria.
Cattle Farming in Nigeria
Cattle farming is the rearing and management of bulls(male) and cows(female) for beef and milk production. Cattle farming also ensures the provision of hide and skin for clothing and other bioresources such as bone and blood meal for feed industries. Manure is also gotten from the faeces of cattle.
Cattle farming is a complex and dynamic business that has a long and unique value chain. It covers input supply, meat production, dairy farming, marketing, and distribution. This makes it a very unique business because it enables many levels of engagement and investment opportunities with great returns.
The high demand for beef, milk, and other dairy product has paved the way for the diverse economic importance of the industry.
The Economic Importance of Cattle Farming in Nigeria
Source of Food: Cattle farms generate high-quality food/protein products such as meat, cheese, and milk. With Nigeria’s ever-increasing population, dairy cattle have been widely used for processing milk. It is said that Nigerians consume about 1.3billion tons of milk annually. However, about 21300 tons are produced locally, with 60% of dairy products being imported.
Also, Nigerians consume about 360,000 tonnes of beef each year, yet about 65% of beef is being imported. This has called for increased investment in Cattle farming in Nigeria.
Contribution to National Income: Cattle farming has significantly contributed to the economic advancement of several countries. It has been observed that developing countries now have the dominance of the industry and it has contributed to their national income. It can also help Nigeria generate foreign exchange income through the export of cattle products.
Job creation and sustainability: Cattle farming is one of the few productive human economic activities that is very sustainable. It also has the potential to generate employment opportunities and serve as a source of stable income.