At the recent Nigeria Poultry and Livestock Expo 2017 (NIPOLI) in Lagos, some shareholders said they were optimistic that the livestock industry would be developed if innovative methodologies were employed.
Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Gideon Mshebwala, said yesterday that majority of farmers operated in traditional structures.
Mshebwala, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the ministry, Dr Dupe Ambolu, said that farming systems were mostly characterised by obsolete barn equipment.
“Poultry and livestock represent an important source of high quality animal protein; it is one of the highest investments in agriculture with a net worth of N250 billion.
“Poultry contributes about 10 per cent, while livestock contributes about five per cent of Nigeria’s agricultural Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and Nigeria’s chicken population of about 150.7 million.
“Of this, 25 per cent, 15 per cent and 60 per cent are farmed commercially, semi-commercially and in backyards respectively. However, the demand for protein and by-products outstrips the supply.
“Majority of farmers operate in traditional and small scale structures characterised by obsolete barn equipment, production techniques and inadequate bio-security,’’ Mshebwala said.