Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Livestock247, Nigeria’s foremost online livestock business platform, Mr. Ibrahim Maigari has said that Nigeria must embrace the new development in the agriculture sector to change the present narratives of an oil-dependent economy.
He said this while delivering a paper tagged; ‘Developing a Sustainable Livestock System in Nigeria’ at the Agric Conference 2019 organized by the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Students of Nigeria (Obafemi Awolowo University).
Speaking at the event themed: ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Agriculture in Africa’ Maigari said that livestock animals are an ancient, vital and a form of renewable natural resource that is critical for sustainable development yet overlooked.
“The world’s livestock have continuously been a source of food for man’s sustainability in their production of nutrients which has helped to provide hundreds of families in different countries of the world with basic livelihoods, increase in their income, food and nutrition yet the livestock industry has not been able to garner the attention it deserves in Nigeria,” he said.
Maigari noted that the globally, livestock is becoming agriculture’s most economically important subsector, with demand in developing countries for animal foods projected to double over the next 20 years.
“Throughout the developing world, the livestock industry is gradually a means for hundreds of millions of people to escape absolute poverty as the sector contributes up to 80 percent of agricultural GDP.
He highlighted the opportunities in the new development of the sector, saying that Nigeria accounts for over 43 percent of the population of livestock in West Africa according to the United Nations/FAO survey of 2013.
He continued that the 2011 National Agricultural Sample Survey released by the Nigerian FMARD also says Nigeria has 19.5million cattle, 41.5million sheep and 72.5million goats.
“The National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government which include the Animal Identification System, is built on the strongest pillars is Conflict Resolution and Economic Diversification. We have keyed into this agenda and we will keep propagating for adequate legislation,” he said.
Maigari commended the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Students of Nigeria (Obafemi Awolowo University) for organizing the second edition of the Agric Conference 2019 saying that the youth are set to stake a claim in the opportunities of the sector.
“Livestock247 has decided to partner with NAAS OAU because of what they stand for and believe in. They have projected a signal that Agriculture has a future in Nigeria. I commend them for marketing a sector that has been largely de-marketed for many years.
“These youths are set enhance the possibilities in Agriculture and we are fully in support of their ideas and initiatives that will keep improving the business of livestock. With platforms Farm Crowdy, funding is available for their laudable ideas and Livestock247 will continue build the capacity of the youths in order to access funds,” he said.
Buttressing the points made by the Livestock247 Founder, Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc., Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi discussed on “Agriculture: Feeding And Funding Africa’s Green Revolution” said that Agricultural revolution was originally used to describe the cultural transformation that ensued after the human race changed from hunting and gathering of some food for survival to crops and animal domestications.
“Today, according to Herrera and Garcia-Bertrand (2018) more than 80 percent of the human worldwide diet is produced from less than a dozen crop species many of which were domesticated many years ago. Archeological evidence showed that the domestication of plants and animals in separate global locations was most likely triggered by different climates and human settlements.
He concluded that the efforts the Central Bank of Nigeria is making to reposition the Agricultural Sector from 1999 to date.
“According to the reports of the Department of Statistics of CBN (2018), there is a product called the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme established to: fast-track the development of the agricultural sector; enhance national food security; reduce the cost of credit in agricultural production; increase national output; generate employment; and raise the level of foreign exchange earnings of the country.
“Quantitative and qualitative impact assessment results show that beneficiaries involved in both production and processing recorded positive aggregate growth difference in income and volume of produce when compared with nominal and real output growth of agriculture and manufacturing,” he said.