Nigeria moves to tap from livestock value chain | Dailytrust

Nigeria moves to tap from livestock value chain

Some of the cows at Milky Way Dairy Farm, near Bokkos Plateau State
Some of the cows at Milky Way Dairy Farm, near Bokkos Plateau State
  • Expands FCT dairy plant at Paikon-Kore

  • To improve low yielding indigenous cattle breeds


Livestock is a vital component of food security and industrial raw materials globally.  As a result, nearly all countries strive to sustainably develop their livestock value chain. Even during the COVID-19 disruptions, governments in most parts of the world initiated policies to promote development of livestock. 

Relevant statistics have shown that the global dairy market, valued at $718.9 billion (US) in 2019, is projected to grow to $1032.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 5 per cent over the forecast period.   

Daily Trust on Sunday, which has been monitoring the subsector, reports that the global market is primarily dominated by the milk segment, followed by butter and cheese. The yogurt and dairy desserts segments are expected to be the fastest-growing across the world.

In addition, according to the World Health Organisation, the annual meat production was projected to increase from 218.0million metric tonnes from 1997 to 1999 to 376.0 million metric tonnes by 2030. This is due to the growing demand for low-fat and high-protein diet across the world.

The statistics above shows that a lot of opportunities exist for foreign exchange generation in Nigeria if the livestock subsector can be optimally developed. 

In 2016, Nigeria was recorded as having the third largest livestock population in Africa.  Despite this, there is lack of sufficient quantities of animal protein in the diet of the average Nigerian.

A document from the Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC) seen by Daily Trust on Sunday shows that the domestic supply of animal protein is growing at 1.8 per cent while the overall demand is estimated to rise at 51 per cent. 

According to the document, out of the estimated demand of about 1.7 million tonnes of milk, only about 692,570 tonnes were produced locally.

This, the Director-General of the Council, Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, said made Nigeria the largest importer of processed milk and other dairy products in West Africa with an estimated expenditure of about $1.5bn per annum, as the indigenous dairy cattle breeds produce about 2 litres of milk per day.  

Professor Ibrahim said this situation was caused by the indigenous breeds of cattle in Nigeria, which are mostly populated by low yielding Zebu, Muturu and Kuribreeds. 

Calves in one of the farms


The Kuri and Zebu breeds are kept mainly for dairy and meat production, while the Muturu, humpless breeds are not milked as their small size made them to be perceived as unproductive. Consequently, meat production by local cattle breeds are low.   

Kuri, the largest breed, weighs between 500kg and 600kg, with a milk production of about 0.74 and 1.27 litres per cow per day, compared to 20 and 30 litres per cow/day of the exotic breeds. The Bunaji local breed can give between 2.5 litres per cow per day, depending on the season.  

The low productivity is associated with low genetic potentials, inadequate feeding, prevalence of diseases, little veterinary care and poor selection and breeding programme. Genetic improvement of local varieties relies mostly on natural gross breeding.  Also, high mortality (20 – 25%) and long calving interval (20 – 26 months) and slow maturation add to these problems.   

He said that in view of the importance of optimising livestock value chain for sustainable development, the federal government, through the Council, had initiated a livestock development programme.  The programme, he said, aimed at overhauling the livestock value chain from production to marketing.  This includes improvement in the cattle breeds for milk, meat and leather production, coupled with industrial utilisation of waste products, such as blood, horns and hoofs.

One of the major projects embarked on, he added, was the expansion of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) mini dairy plant at Paikon-Kore in the Gwagwalada Area Council, which was initiated in line with the federal government’s policy of enhancing traditional livestock productivity, as well as resolving the constant conflicts between farming communities and pastoralists.  The project, which he said was handicapped by some technicalities, has been overhauled through collaboration between the RMRDC and other stakeholders. 

He said the site now has a milk collection centre, living quarters, solar-powered borehole and generator. A grazing reserve of about 50 hectares of land has been put in and grassed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The United States Agency for International Development USAID and the RMRDC have prepared a feasibility study for the upstream and downstream components of the project.   

The USAID has donated a 1,000 litre milk collection centre with a back-up generator for the project, while the ARD-FCT secretariat has donated a complete building. Also, the RMRDC has renovated the building and installed the milk collection tank.  In addition, a total of 408 milk cooperative farmers have been trained on milk hygiene and handling by the RMRDC and USIAD.  

The second phase of the project is expected to expand the milk collection centre to a mini dairy.  

He said the council was working in tandem with the Adamawa State FADAMA III Project, the Adamawa State Agricultural Development and Investment Ltd. (AADIL), Modibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) and Gurin/Mbamba Community Associations to promote the use of artificial insemination techniques for increased production of milk and beef from the filial generation of inseminated   cattle and to provide training to artificial inseminators and milk processors. 

He said the Council was also collaborating with Kaduna, Niger, Taraba, Kwara and Oyo state governments on the establishment of similar project. 

The Council has upgraded the indigenous technology for processing kilishi, a well-known sun-dried meat product that is now popular globally, by removing the drudgery associated with its production through collaboration with the University of Benin and Wilberforce University, USA. 

The collaboration, he said, had led to the development of a modern kilishi processing technology.  The indigenous technology had been improved on by incorporating dryers, smoking kilns, unit control measures of inputs and high sanitary conditions, to cut production time from 2 to 3 days to less than 10 hours.       

Considering the relevance of blood meal to animal feed production, the council, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Osun State, developed a vegetable curried blood meal as a raw material for the livestock feeds industry and appropriate techniques for processing of blood into blood meal. Fourteen useful raw materials for the feed mill industry have been produced from abattoir waste and by-products (blood and rumen content. The project, when fully commercialised, will reduce the cost of production of blood meal and the environmental pollution problems arising from abattoir wastes in the country.   

Presently, Nigeria has achieved 10 per cent of local content in milk production. The council noted that while progress may be slow, with the dogged resolve by relevant collaborators, the subsector has a very bright future, and will, within the next few years, save the country more than N30bn annually in foreign exchange equivalent, in addition to employment generation and poverty reduction.

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