Published On: Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

ANIMAL HEALTH CRUCIAL TO GROWTH IN NIGERIA

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Nigeria is situated at the western part of Africa with a total area of 923, 768 sq km. The land boundaries stretches to nearly 4047 Km. Nigeria is the largest oil producing country in Africa. Larges in the subsistence agriculture sector has not kept up with rapid population growth and Nigeria which at once was a large net exporter of food, now imports some of this food products. Agriculture has suffered years of mismanagement inconsistent and poorly conceived government policies and the lack of basic infrastructure still the sector accounts for over 26.8% of GDP and two-third of unemployment. Livestock development is an important component of Nigeria with abundant social and economic potential. Domestic production of animal products is far below the national demand, resulting into large imports of livestock and livestock products except for eggs, thanks to development in poultry and livestock sector.

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DR. PRAFUL KUMAR

Manager (International Business) Ayurvet ltd.

 

nigeria-animalWith 75% of the world’s poor in rural areas and most of them dependent on farming, agriculture must be part of the world economic growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. The majority of poor and food insecure in Africa live in rural areas and most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Nigeria is a vast agriculture country endowed with substantial natural resources, which includes 68 million hectare of arable land; fresh water resources covering about 12 million hectares, 960 km of coastline and an ecological diversity which enables the country to produce wide variety of crops, livestock, and forestry and fishery products. Poverty in Nigeria is concentrated in rural areas, which are home to more than 70% of nation’s poor. Development indicators are for rural area lag behind those for urban area; incomes are lower, infant mortality rates are higher, life expectancy is shorter, illiteracy is more widespread, malnutrition is more prevalent, and greater proportions of people lack access to clean water and improved sanitation services.

One sector that has a critical role in poverty reduction in Nigeria is agriculture sector as over 40% of the GDP comes from the sector and it employees about 60% of the working population. According to one study it was established that agriculture production was positively related to economic growth in Nigeria.
In livestock, almost half of the cattle population is permanently resident within the sub-humid zone. Humped Zebu cattle are far the most common. Poultry outnumbers all other form of livestock in Nigeria and not surprisingly is found throughout the country wherever there is human settlement. Although pigeon, ducks, guinea fowl and some turkey are also widely kept, chickens are by far the most common. Nigeria produces around 966090 Metric tons of meat per year (2006). Constituents of meat are as below –

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000 Metric tons however for the same year production was 636 000 metric tons per year. On an average 3.9 Kg of egg was consumed per person per year and this comes to milk to 3.4 kg of milk per person per year.Looking into poverty fraction where more than 75% of population earns less than 2 USD per day, role of livestock comes very integral to a country with such vast livestock resources.
It is surprising that Nigeria, blessed as it is, with abundant agro-ecological resource and diversity has become one of the largest food importers in sub-Saharan Africa. In one study to examine role of small holder livestock production in reducing poverty among small scale farmers in Nigeria, results showed that annual income, household size and gender of household head are statistically significant determinants of the value of flock size in small holder livestock. Average annual household income from livestock keeping constituted 43% of the mean annual income. The study also found that income from small holder livestock operation have a positive and statistically significant effect on improved nutrition, household food security and consequently rural poverty reduction.
In the face of the fast demand of livestock products in Nigeria, there are opportunities for major gains in the productivity of livestock system. Increase in domestic livestock production contribute to national income, reduced dependency on imports with savings in scarce foreign exchange and in rural areas additional employment, improved livelihood and poverty alleviation. Good quality protein can be taken from broiler meat which can contribute to more than 257 thousand tons per year and eggs as well.
In pursuit to improve productivity of livestock and to provide holistic animal healthcare, Ayurvet collaborated with Animalcare (Indigenous Nigerian Company founded in 1979) in 1996. With more than 20 years of business relationship fostered technology transfer and capacity building to better production of livestock. With regional branches and feed milling plants in Kano (North) and Asaba (East) and head office in Ogere (West). Animalcare presence has cut across the length and breadth of the country with sales representatives and agents nationwide. Animalcare is also involved in extension services to educate farmers and to develop entrepreneurship to generate employment.nigeria-anima-front
Animal healthcare solution from Ayurvet such as phytoadditive for replacement of synthetic methionine, natural liver tonics and anti-mycotoxin solutions has played a great role in reducing cost of feed and improving production of broiler and layer chicken. Solutions for large and small ruminants enhanced milk and meat production to feed more people. Every year tons of synthetic methionine is being imported by Nigeria to which has to be used in poultry ration to support production. These synthetic additives are costly and unsafe. Methiorep (phytoadditive for replacement of synthetic methionine) has given a way to reduce cost of supplementation of methionine and make chicken meat / egg safer than ever before.
Animcalcare’s premium farm with production more than 100 million branded Funtuna eggs per year, provide high quality protein to Nigerian people. Funtuna egg are premium quality, low cholesterol eggs with firm and dense albumen and raised golden yolk indicating high carotenoid content, a substance which improves eye sight. Funtuna farms is arguably the best managed commercial layer farm in Nigeria. This farm is the only member of International egg commission (IEC) in the Sub-Sahara Africa.
Native Nigerian zebu and Fulani cattle are local breeds. They are resistant to many disease but are poor milk producers. Farmers take them to graze near the water lines (rivers) and in that process they get infected with liver worms. Liver reduces the production of milk to great extent and bring the immunity of these cattle down. Ruchamax and Yakrifit, a duo revolutionary product from Ayurvet has helped fulani farmers to improve fiber digestion and nullify live infections. Improving fiber digestion helps to balance the rumen function to produce more beneficial microflora and in turn produce more milk. Under local condition productivity of birds (meat type or egg type) are always pressure and liver plays important role in production. Natural Livertonic – Superliv in broilerssaved around 10 Million tons of feed and helped to produce 7Million tons of extra chicken meat in year 2015 (based on average data of Superliv ROI). This solution has helped to produce more chicken out of same amount of feed and further producing more amount of quality protein to abolish malnutrition.Ratio of edible portion of chicken gets improved. More production of these birds helped to improve profits and reduce poverty in rural and urban setup in Nigeria. Please note that large number of farms gets closed when input cost is more than returns on chicken meat. Use of new generation natural growth supplements helps to optimize feed cost and production giving holistic health to farm animals.

Nigerian livestock sector can create new opportunities for farmers and provide more affordable and healthier diets for future generations with such collaboration for holistic animal healthcare and productivity. Managing this growth also requires a complex institutional response that can stimulate income and employment opportunities in the rural areas, protect the livelihoods of small farmers, improve resource use efficiency at all levels of the value chain. Ayurvet and Animalcare are committed to provide high quality animal produce in lesser cost to Nigerian people. Ayurvet’s 5F programme – Food for human, Feed and Fodder for animals, Fuel for energy and fertilizer for soil has also given total sustainability solution. Byproduct of agriculture is being used as resource for raising livestock. Byproducts of livestock will be used for producing energy and make soil healthier under this system. Along with favorable government policies, Techno-commercial collaboration of Animalcare-Ayurvet will go a long way to make farms profitable, farmers happy and will bring socioeconomic prosperity in Nigeria. With Integration of Livestock and agriculture and proper focus on small farm owners, Nigeria will not only produce enough for its people but can also export food significantly to its neighboring countries.

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