The open grazing ban: Nigeria's challenge with managing cattle
Nigeria's open grazing problem.  Source: Stears Business

Twenty million. 

That is the estimated cattle population in Nigeria. The figure has remained roughly the same over the last seven years. But what is more interesting is how we have created and sustained that number of cattle in the country, so let's dig in.

Farmers use three major ways (commercial, agro-pastoral, and pastoral) to produce cattle. 

The first is the commercial production system where dairy animals are reared to maximise their milk output by being kept in sheds and given high-quality feed from cultivated green land. The cattle produced with this system are mainly in the north-central parts of Nigeria. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), they also make up about 1% of the country’s total cattle population.  

The second way to produce cattle is by using the agro-pastoral system, which is a little more common (17%) than commercial production and is predominantly practised in southern Nigeria.

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Adesola Afolabi

Adesola Afolabi

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