Livestock traders sign memorandum of understanding with US agribusiness to expand livestock production in Nigeria

The National Association of Cattle Dealers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Comprehensive Agric Limited.

Comprehensive Agric Limited is managed by American West African Agro Limited (AWAA) based in Kogi State.

The memorandum, which was signed at BluCabana Restaurant & Cafe, Abuja on Wednesday, aims to help the development of animal production through collaboration with herders, farmers, breeders and processors.

Other project partners include Greenlands Consult, the project consultants and SunTrust Bank, the participating financial institution.

Speaking at the event, Jerry Cunningham, Managing Director of AWAA, said that although the livestock sector in Nigeria is amazing, the only way to bring the weight of slaughtered cattle to almost double is to use feedlots.

He added that putting cattle on feedlots will end the crisis for farmers and herders in Nigeria if done correctly.

“We started this in Kogi a few years ago, we built our feedlot. We use local shepherds, we buy cattle from them. We buy fodder from farmers,” he said.

“The last meetings we had on our feedlot, we brought farmers and herders together in one meeting. So now we are calm around our feedlot in Kogi. It was bad before, we had bandits running in our field, we calmed that down, if we can do it in Kogi, it can be done all over the country.

Also speaking at the event, Iliyasu Bulawayo, chairman of the cattle association, said that under the scheme, about seven thousand farmers will be allocated three cows each.

“If you calculate it, that will give you around 21,000 cows. It will be every three months. We will have the capacity to deliver what we have said to them, and we will have even more on the pitch,” Bulawayo said.

“It will be in clusters in other states. What we have is more than what we agreed to provide them. So in other areas we have our members, we will have our clusters, where we will keep our cattle.

For his part, Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan, head of the agribusiness team at Suntrust Bank, said the bank would do whatever it takes to ensure the project materializes.

“The reason is not far-fetched – there is a demand. There is a demand to eat healthy meat, not just meat. There is a demand for other value chains in livestock,” she said.

“It won’t be a failed or abandoned project or an underfunded project.”