The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) agency of the United Nations, says Nigeria, in the next 30 to 40 years, will face unprecedented pressure in its livestock production.
FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Suffyan Koroma, made the prediction in Abuja, Tuesday at the onset of the dialogue on in Abuja “Lunch of Africa Sustainable Livestock’’ (ASL 2050) project.
He said that the forecast was built on the evidence that the demand for livestock-based foods would grow rapidly due to increased human population and resultant rise in consumer purchasing power and urbanisation.
“Data from FAO shows that by 2050, beef, dairy and poultry consumption are anticipated to grow by 117 per cent, 557 per cent and 253 per cent respectively from the 2010 levels,’’ he said.
Koroma said that as a result of this data, policy and institutional reforms should be developed, while long-term projections were made.
He also called for solid data and evidence-based analysis to ensure that the opportunities generated by the growing market for livestock-based foods translated into widespread benefits for the populace, including livestock producers, consumers and others along the value chains.
He stressed that due to the heterogeneity and complexity of the livestock sector and its negative effect on the society, the ASL 2050 project was, therefore, looking beyond the current policies and programmes as well as the required inputs from multiple sectors.
Koroma said that the FAO Country Office, in collaboration with its regional office and headquarters, would give adequate support to Nigeria and expand the support to cover the entire African continent, starting with the West African sub-region.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Bukar Hassan, said that in response to increasing demand for livestock-based foods, producers would make significant investments in livestock farming systems and value chains.
He said that such investments would result in increased supply of livestock-based foods so as to satisfy the consumers’ demand.
“The impact of the investments on people’s livelihoods, public health and environments will be very significant and the majority of the rural populace depends on it. It is also estimated that livestock contributes over 15.5 per cent to all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions,’’ he said.
Besides, Hassan said that through the ASL2050, the government and the supporting agencies would be able to dialogue, share knowledge and consult with the stakeholders in order to identify opportunities and threats associated with long-term livestock development plans.
He said that the institutions would also be able to agree on priority reforms and investments to create the capacity that were needed to ensure sustainable development of the livestock sector in the next three decades.
Hassan described the project as a major opportunity for the livestock community in Africa, adding that Nigeria would lead by example in efforts to build sustainable and healthy livestock systems for the future.
Recommendations of the three-day dialogue, ASL 2050, will be implemented by FAO in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and Burkina Faso.