The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has warned that Nigeria’s livestock industry may struggle under record pressure by 2050 if it remains passive to bridging its supply gaps.
Suffyan Koroma, the FAO country representative, speaking at a dialogue session dubbed ‘Lunch of Africa Sustainable Livestock’ ASL 2050 project in Abuja, said the forecast was built on the indication that the demand for livestock-based foods would grow rapidly due to increased human population and the 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 percent, 557 percent and 253 percent respectively from the 2010 levels,’’ he said.
Koroma said policy and institutional reforms should be developed with long-term projections, calling for solid data and evidence-based analysis to ensure that 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 chain.
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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 looking beyond the current policies and programmes as well as 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.
Bukar Hassan, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in response to increasing demand for livestock-based foods, producers would make significant investments in livestock farming systems and value chains.
Such investments, he said, would result in increased supply of livestock-based foods to satisfy 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 percent 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 was needed to ensure sustainable development of the livestock sector in the next three decades.