The Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, has described Africa’s investment in livestock as pathetic.
He stated that since livestock did not get the attention it deserved, its potential to contribute to economic well-being of the continent was under-exploited.
Speaking during a lecture organised in his honour by the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State earlier this week, Akinbamijo said that the major challenges that livestock investors faced in Africa related to low capacity for innovation.
He added that limited investment; inadequate attention paid to the sector; climate change; lack of information for policy analysis and formulation; underdeveloped value chains, among others, were some of the issues plaguing livestock growth in Africa.
Akinbamijo, who spoke on the topic, “Livestock And Economic Well-Being in Africa,” noted that African countries were not alive to evolving requirements of livestock services and changing roles of actors involved.
Listing other challenges, he said, “Prevailing funding models provide short-term support which does not allow businesses to grow and reach a stage where they sustain themselves.
“Limited capacity and expertise in agribusiness incubation in Africa; limited funding and support for scaling up proven models, and uncoordinated efforts towards agribusiness value chain development in Africa.”
According to him, three quarters of Africa’s rural households, who possess livestock, employ about 50 per cent of agricultural labour force. He added that the trend accounted for about one third of agricultural Gross Domestic Product.
He says that livestock which is the fastest growing agriculture subsector, provides food; employment and income; soil fertility improvement; traction (ploughing and transport) including capital accumulation to cope with food crises and major life events.
He projected that by 2050, the meat and milk markets would have increased by 145 per cent and 155 per cent over 2005/2007 levels.
He said, “Over this period, increase in volume of meat consumed in Africa will be on a par with that of the developed world and Latin America