By Omotayo Edubi
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 on Wednesday at BluCabana Restaurant & Cafe, Abuja, seeks to aid the development of livestock production through collaboration with herdsmen, farmers, feeders and processors.
Other partners in the project include Greenlands Consult, the project consultants and SunTrust Bank, the participating financial institution.
Speaking at the event, Jerry Cunningham, AWAA managing director, said although the livestock sector in Nigeria is amazing, the only way to bring the weight of the slaughtered cattle up to almost double is through feedlots.
He added that placing cattle in feedlots will end the farmer-herder crisis in Nigeria if done correctly.
“We started this in Kogi a couple of years ago, we built our feedlot. We’re using the local herdsmen, we buy cattle from them. We buy feed from the farmers,” he said.
“The last meeting we had on our feedlot, we had the farmers and herders all together in one meeting. So now we’re calm around where our feedlot in Kogi is. It used to be bad, we had bandits running across our field, we’ve 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, president of the cattle association, said under the programme, about seven thousand farmers will be assigned three cows each.
“If you calculate it, it will give you about 21 thousand cows. This will be in every three months. We’ll have the capacity to supply them with what we have said, and we’ll still have more on the ground,” Bulawayo said.
“It will be in clusters in other states. What we have is more than what we agreed to supply them. So other areas we have our members, we will have our clusters, where we will keep our cattle.”
On her part, Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan, head, agribusiness team at Suntrust Bank, said the bank would do everything it takes to make sure the project pulls through.
“The reason is not far-fetched — there is demand. There’s demand to eat healthy meat, not just meat. There’s demand for other value chains in cattle,” she said.
“This is not going to be a failed or abandoned project or one not adequately funded.”