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June 21, 2024

Nigeria’s Livestock Sector Can Contribute $11bn Annually if Adequately Harnessed – HMS

Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, has revealed that Nigeria’s livestock sector could contribute over $11 billion annually to the economy if properly harnessed. 

Abdullahi made this statement at the 3rd meeting of the Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) Global Eradication Programme Regional Roadmap and Blueprint Consumption Consultation for the West Africa Region, held in a hybrid conference on Monday in Abuja.

Abdullahi highlighted that the livestock sector currently contributes about 17% of the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and 5% of the national GDP. 

However, the sector faces significant challenges due to the presence of PPR, which severely limits the productivity and market access of sheep and goats, leading to substantial financial losses for small ruminant farmers.

“Unfortunately, the production, trade, and marketing of sheep and goats are seriously constrained by the continuous presence of PPR, which limits its productivity and access to markets. This disease often causes large financial losses, particularly detrimental to small ruminant farmers,” Abdullahi said. 

“That is why the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current government is committed to improving the livestock sub-sector as a means of fostering economic growth.”

He added that the agenda also aims to ensure food security and enhance the livelihoods of Nigerians. Eradicating PPR and other major transboundary animal diseases (TADs) is a critical component of this agenda. 

The minister further emphasized that eliminating these diseases would not only protect the nation’s livestock but also empower rural communities and contribute to the country’s economic resilience.

On his part, Dr. Otto Muhinda, Country Team Leader for the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (FAO-ECTAD), representing FAO Country Representative Dominique Kouacou, stressed the importance of cross-border collaboration in combating PPR and other small ruminant diseases. “PPR and other small ruminant diseases respect neither national nor regional borders. We must do all we can to provide cross-border collaboration and actions, in line with the episystems approach of the PPR eradication strategy,” Muhinda said.

He noted that in Africa, the FAO has been working closely with the African Union Commission (AUC) to formulate and implement continental, regional, and national strategies to combat these diseases.

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