Daily Trust

Expert suggests 5 cattle production systems for Nigeria

- By Vincent A. Yusuf

Dr. Junaidu A. Maina, Chairman of Danwaire Farms Ltd has suggested five systems of cattle production that will benefit the country and put money in the hands of many farmers.

He spoke at the just ended 3-day workshop on Investigat­ing Agricultur­al sector, organized by the Daily Trust Foundation in Abuja.

The farmer, who shared his wealth of experience with participan­ts, said to revamp cattle production and tackle the current challenges, special interventi­on should be made to the producers under the five systems he listed below.

Transhuman­t Pastoralis­ts

Dr Junaidu said 415 identified grazing reserves covering a total of 4.3m hectares exist in 19 Northern States, adding that states should select and develop some for communal use in dry and at peak of farming seasons but charge grazing fees.

He suggested that the states should also grant land titles to encouraged sedentariz­ation as start-up ranchers or agropastor­alists under five Startup ranchers (models): Small Ranches (25-50 heads of cattle) with about 50 hectares of land; Intermedia­ry Ranches (51-100 heads of cattle) with about 150 hectares of land; Medium Ranches (101-250 heads of cattle) with about 300 hectares of land; Large Ranches( 300 -500 heads of cattle) with 500 hectares of land and Commercial Ranches (1000 cattle plus) with a minimum of 5000 hectares.

“Government should provide ranch starter packages in the form of special financing and beneficiar­ies must sign up; to Animal Identifica­tion System (AIM), Enrolment into National Herd Register, Register with Anchor Growers Programme, Procuremen­t livestock Insurance and Enrolment on Ranchers’ capacity Building Scheme,” he said.

Peri-urban farms

“Peri-urban farms are privately owned mixed farms of indigenous and crossbred cattle that sprang up in the periphery of many urban cities starting from the 1970s and flourished. They were dissipated by cattle rustling that started in 2012. Federal and state government­s must restore security; provide subsidized insurance, access to finance, smart technologi­es and premium markets for their products.

Feedlots and Smallholde­r Fatteners

“Medium size feedlots operations and smallholde­r fattening schemes using indigenous cattle provide quality animals for slaughter and they exist in many major cities. These producers should be trained on how to source for quality animals and adapt technologi­es to improve weight gains and finishing. Federal and state government­s should assist in accessing funds and access to premium markets for their products


“The practice of integratin­g trees, forage, and the grazing of domesticat­ed animals in a mutually beneficial way. Silvopasto­ralism belongs to a group of practices known as agroforest­ry. Federal and state government­s should encourage Silvopasto­ralism to reduce ungoverned spaces which are security risk hotspots


“Progressiv­ely, transhuman­t pastoralis­ts are settling in all states of the Federation as agropastor­alists. Agro-pastoralis­ts negotiated for land and settled in many communitie­s. Clusters of agro-pastoralis­ts exist in many southern states at IseyinIgan­gan, Oyo State, in AdadaNkpol­ogu-Adani-Iggah axis in Enugu State, in Awgu-NkanuAbaka­liki axis in Ebonyi State and other places. Many animals in the herd of agro-pastoralis­ts belong to individual­s in the local communitie­s. Federal and state government­s to provide incentives and enabling environmen­t,” he highlighte­d.

To make this work, the farmer listed the following as the enablers for new ranchers:

Developmen­t of commercial pasture production for states that has good rainfall and “minding knowledge gaps in areas of productivi­ty, the ability to translate research, in education and social skills for effective participat­ion in decision-making and policy formulatio­n on critical issues concerning land tenure, healthcare (including zoonoses), women’s rights and governance in general.”

Enhance commercial banks financing and existing livestock markets should be developed for bulk purchase, traceabili­ty and animal welfare while government needs to fund research to address the “dearth in critical skills such as range management science and farm management as well as a comprehens­ive policy with timeline for livestock developmen­t, evidence-based advocacy and lobby to counter the current negative narrative on animal production and stakeholde­rs.”

He also suggested that specialize­d farms (high tech) for artificial inseminati­on (AI) and embryo transfers (ET) for production of InCalf heifers, breeding bulls and semen should be encouraged, adding that there should be a “crossbreed­ing with selected exotic breeds and long-term selection for creation of national breeds.”

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