Lagos Consumes N1.6bn Worth of Cattle Daily

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Lagos consumes N1.6 billion worth of cattle daily; Nigeria trade livestock market to hit n2 trillion when fully realised

IN continuation of the recently launched project to transport cattle by rail from the north to the south which was facilitated by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, a second cattle train of 15 wagons left Nguru, Yobe state for Oko-Oba, Lagos on Thursday, September 29.

The journey is estimated to last two days compared to the five to six days it normally takes to cover the distance by road.

The project, operated by Connect Rail Services Ltd, an indigenous bulk freight and logistics company as technical partner, is part of NIRSAL’s Farm to Market scheme designed to achieve a low cost and efficient transport link between agric producers across the country.

The scheme is projected to reduce the cost of transporting cattle from the north to the south by over 20 percent, minimize injury and death of cattle while in transit and also preserve 100 percent of their value so that livestock breeders can get good price for their produce at the destination markets.

Speaking on the development, Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, managing director of NIRSAL, said the initiative is a practical demonstration of NIRSAL’s mandate to provide guarantees so that banks can be encouraged to finance impactful projects along the agric value chain.

“I am really excited at the progress that we are making on this project which is designed to maximize the current value of the North-South livestock trade, estimated at N950 billion to about N1.8Trn per annum. NIRSAL will execute this project, first, by fixing, end-end, the entire trade livestock value chain through upgrading the performance of its 3 components comprising Breeding, Trading and Logistics then guaranteeing the flow of affordable commercial finance to identified actors and enterprises within the “fixed” value chain.

“What Nigerians are witnessing through the livestock Rail Transport component is actually one part of the bigger picture of the commercial livestock value chain upgrade being executed by NIRSAL”.

Ultimately, the objective  is provide cattle breeders in the north, an alternative low cost and safe rail transport linkage to markets and their trading counterparts in the south. This will also eliminate the all too frequent menace of Herdsmen and Farmer clashes across the country.

Lagos alone consumes about 8000 cattle and small ruminants valued at N1.6 billion daily.

It is projected that, when fully realized, NIRSAL’s efforts to create a structured market for the livestock business in the country, through a bankable standard business model, has the potential to increase the overall value of Nigeria’s livestock  market to about N2 trillion.

He stated that, beyond its general economic benefits to the entire country, the flag off of the Nguru-Lagos cattle transport route will help to catalyze the revival of the North East economy after the devastation caused by the insurgency.

Speaking further, the managing director of NIRSAL stated that “The next phase will include the creation of business models and specific financing products for the ranching and trading components of the value chain. The strategy is to mainstream all the actors into regular and sustainable relationships with structured finance and structured markets. This will include the transportation of carcass and cut beef in refrigerated containers”.

It will be recalled that the second cattle train follows the historic and successful movement of 500 cows from Gusau, Zamfara State to Oko Oba, Lagos on September 1st, 2016.

The livestock had arrived its destination hours ahead of schedule in healthy condition that guaranteed good market value for the cattle breeders and therefore healthier, more affordable beef for the consumer.

There is every indication that the latest Nguru to Lagos cattle movement will produce similar positive results.

According to Edeme Kelikume, managing director, Connect Rail Services, regular bi-weekly movement of cattle by trains carrying at least 1,000 cattle from the north to markets in the south is scheduled to begin soon.

“Our plan is to ensure that we take this transport solution to all states in the north with functional railway services so that those who deal in cattle will enjoy the cost and associated benefits that it offers. For instance, this service reduces cost of transport by over 50%, ensures quicker access to markets and greater value for cattle upon arrival”.

NIRSAL is also making progress in its efforts to operationalize other elements of the Farm to Market scheme such as the movement of perishable agric produce like tomatoes, dairy products and vegetables in refrigerated containers.

The movement of cattle represents the first component of NIRSAL’s “Farm to Market” flagship programme designed to boost value and efficiencies across the agricultural value chain through a remunerative, sustainable and market-focused food production that achieves greater equity so that farmers and other agricultural producers get more reward for their efforts.

The ultimate plan, according to Mr Abdulhameed, is to enable the movement of meat in the form of carcasses in chilled containers as is done in the developed world, according to a release issued by Bello Abdullahi Abba, coordinator, Research and Strategy, NIRSAL.

—  Sep 29, 2016 @ 17:50 GMT

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