By generator123 • 11th Feb 2019 • 222 views • 45 comments

If everything goes well as planned, the Nigerian livestock subsector will be valued at N8.16 trillion in ten years from its current value of N2.9 trillion, and by 2028, the country will probably compete with US and Brazil that are the world largest suppliers of beef and associated products.

The United States produces nearly 20% of the world’s beef while Brazil produces 15% of the world’s beef followed by the European Union that does 12%.


Government is expected to sink 91 billion into the project over the next decade in the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028.

in phase one, NLTP will support the development of grazing reserves in each of the seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, and Zamfara.


These states are chosen because they are epicenters of carnage involving crops farmers and cattle herders.

With this plan, government eyes N2 trillion as investments returns to the Nigerian economy, the investors and the farmers.

Like many other intervention programmes, having a policy document is one thing, implementing the policy with a sheer financial commitment and sense of vigour is another.

Since there is no legal instrument to ensure sustainability and the security of private investments, it may be approached with sense of caution by some investors because of what happened to the Growth Enhancement Scheme (that government got subsidized fertilizer, seed/seedlings to farmers via mobile phone) where a lot of agro-dealers took bank loans to invest in the scheme but are still struggling to recover their money even as the GES is already dead.

This is because a change in government could as well mean the death of the programme as it has been the case with many Agric initiatives since independent.

The new National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) launched by the National Economic Council headed by the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is hitched on solving the lingering clashes that bedeviling the livestock subsector.

It is estimated that Nigeria loses about $14 billion, which is about N5.04 trillion every year due to farmers -herders’ conflict occasioned by the destruction of homes, property, schools, health centres and displaced persons.

Recent estimates from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shows that Nigeria has 19.8 million cattle, 43.4 million sheep, 76 million goats, and 213 million poultry mainly under traditional pastoral management system.

Despite that the Nigeria custom data indicates that meat, dairy and related value chain products import as of fourth quarter of 2017, stood at over $1.5 billion in value hence the need to modernize the subsector taking a cue from the Ethiopian and Zambian reforms.

64 companies to invest in the project

More than 64 companies have indicated interest to invest in the federal government National Livestock Development Plan designed to curb incessant fighting between cattle herders and sedentary farmers.

Dr. Andrew Kwasari, the Advisor, Agriculture Interventions Coordination, Office of the Vice President in an exclusive interview with Golden Harvest said that government was paying closer attention to this plan in a coordinated manner because it wants to put an end to this lingering fighting and unleash the potential of the sector.

“The implantation of the national livestock development plan is with immediate effect. Already there is an approval from the National Economic Council the (NEC), and there is a presidential approval for resources for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to start some activities. Right now we have had engagement with all the states concern. We have had two rounds of engagement-one in February, second round in November (2018). They all have copies before this was finalized. On the 30th of January, there was the second leg of interaction with the private sector to make sure that this plan is implemented on a sustainable basis. We had the first stakeholder interaction with the private sector on the 4th of July 2018 in Shehu Musa Yar’Adua centre with over 64 companies (mostly Nigerians) in attendance that have businesses in livestock,” he said.

The second stakeholder interaction was held on the 31st of January with over 300 participants present.

The event had two sessions, the initial session present again, the entire plan and breakout sessions into working groups in line with investable opportunities in the national livestock Transformation Plan.

Dr Kwasari explained further why the government is taking the 10-year NLTP with a high sense of commitment.

“We have to do this because once we can settle the conflict between cattle production with crop production then the entire potentials of the livestock sector will be unleashed because the rest of the livestock sector like poultry and the associated fishery depend on the ability of the crop farmers to grow soybeans and maize. The areas that are in the heat of this conflict are the major growing areas for soybean or maize which is the mainstay for poultry, fishery or piggery development, which may not be affected directly but indirect by this conflict. That is why the government is very serious to find a lasting peace between cattle production and crop farmers. Once this is solved, then it would create peaceful co-existence at the primary areas where there is conflict are, and there will be enough raw materials for livestock components like poultry and fishers and other.

He emphasized that if the problem that is associated with the nation’s livestock practices is solved, it would be catalytic in releasing the potentials of the sector.

Cows to weight 500kg, fetch N350, 000 each

Under this programme, four types of ranches (small, intermediate, medium and large) will be developed in each grazing reserves and equipped with modern, livestock development facilities for artificial insemination, breed improvement and beef, milk processing facilities.

Cattle owners will take their animals to the ranch site where cattle would be fed with high quality feeds and provided with water for 150 days to boost average weight from 200-250kg to 450-500kg.

The fattened cow is sold to a slaughtered house located near the ranch or within the ranch premises.

Each feedlot will be housed about 3000 cattle per cycle with two cycles per year with each cow gaining an average of 1.2-2.5kg daily depending on the breeds of cows.

At the point of slaughtering, a cow is expected to weight between 400 to 450kg after the 150 days and can fetch around N350, 000 on average for the farmer at N900 per kg.

According to the plant, funding would be provided to cover the cost of fattening. Once cattle are enrolled in the programme, assets owner will sign an agreement with the lender to allow for all cattle to be sold at specified weight range.

Upon sale, lender deducts the cost of fattening from realized value, and cattle owner keeps the remainder of profit, minimizing risk and upfront investment” it says.

Driving principles of the plan

One of the principles of the 10-year programme is that the cost of investment will be shared by all actors. However, the federal, state governments will provide catalytic capital to support a range of public goods even if the components are capture privately, the rest will come from the private sector and donors.

Secondly, improvement in labour capacity, purchase of relevant equipment, intellectual property such as genetic strains will be prioritized.

Thirdly, a dual track coordination approach will be adopted through bottom-up engagement with communities and project sponsors and top-down catalytic guidance from government MDAs to ensure alignment on key actions and accountabilities.

Investment focus priorities

This project when achieved, will lead to “the development and testing of different models of ranching involving various combinations of value chains, be it beef or milk will lead to the evolving of different types of ranching models. This will eventually lead to the gradual modernization of the cattle production system through appropriate ranching practices, which could include aspects of breeds improvement through artificial insemination or embryo transfer to increase milk and meat yield of local cattle breeds. It will also contribute to the gradual transition from migratory and extensive cattle breeding and rearing practices to a more sedentary cattle breeding and rearing practices, again contributing to mitigating conflict.”

The challenge

One of the major challenges will be getting the herders to accept the ranching policy as against the nomadic practice could be a challenge because many are used to the age-long profession of moving around with their animals as the conversations with many herders on this issue proved so.

Secondly, getting state governments like Plateau, Taraba, and Benue to commit states resources into the project could be very difficult at the initial stage because in these states grazing reserves and grazing right remain controversial issues as one analyst said.

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