Cattle business contributes about 6.7 per cent to Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking during a roundtable on private-sector driven National Livestock Development Policy held in Abuja yesterday, the president of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, said that is achieved through the provision of meat, milk, wool, hides and skins in activities that have great value chains attached to each of them.
He said livestock supports the livelihood of about 1.3 billion people in developing countries and contributes up to 30 per cent of the agriculture GDP of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The industrialist said 90 per cent of cattle population in the country is based in the North during the wet season but spilled over to other states of the federation in dry season.
"Whereas the Nigerian landmass and growing population would have been adequately harnessed, mobilised and targeted to work in livestock value chain development, a wrong approach has been deployed by the federal government attempting to be the sole player in this area," he said.
He said the private sector driven livestock policy is to be vision-driven, evidence-based road map with investment plans that seek to improve animal productivity and production, as well as increase the value addition of key livestock value chains.
The ACCI's Director General, Tonia Shoyele, told the roundtable that the livestock sector is confronted with an array of challenges ranging from low quality of animal species and stock; sub-optimal animal husbandry practices; poor animal health and low quality of livestock feed.
She said the policy being promoted by ACCI would address the challenges and advance livestock business in Nigeria.
"The demand for livestock products in sub-Saharan Africa which is increasing rapidly has been fuelled by growing population, urbanization and improved incomes leading to shifts in diets, consumption patterns and dietary support offered by high value commodities such as meat and milk," Shoyele said.