20 million cows ‘insufficient’ for Nigeria’s protein needs

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National Agriculture Extension Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) has advocated for improved policy on the livestock sector, saying Nigeria’s current 20 million cows is too low for the population.

NAERLS in its 2018 data for livestock performance said Nigeria’s current 20 million cows was too low to meet the growing demand for animal protein of about 200 million Nigerians.

“With a cattle population of 20,231,598 for a national human population of nearly 200 million, Nigeria needs to do more in the area of policy to improve in the cattle sector, which has served as a major source of animal protein for the citizenry,’’ the agency said.

The report said only deliberate policy and input improvement would boost the sector’s performance to meet such demand.

“The data on goat population and production for 2018 are a little improvement on what obtained in the previous years for 2016 to 2017.

“One major constraint affecting the sector is inadequate government intervention in livestock inputs.

“Zamafara has been leading in the population of sheep and cattle for a while, now perhaps this explains the incessant activities of cattle rustling and armed banditry in the state and its surrounding.

“The finding, therefore, reiterates the general call for improved security in the country,“ NAERLS said.