In Nigeria, animal husbandry is of great importance and plays a vital role in various sectors of the nation’s economy. Animal husbandry which deals with the rearing of livestock for commercial purposes provides food security, improves the livelihood of Nigerian citizens, helps in environmental sustainability, provides clothes, and boosts the economy of the country. This article will contain the importance of animal husbandry in Nigeria.
The importance of animal husbandry in Nigeria will be discussed below:
Animal Husbandry Ensures Food Security
The rearing and breeding of animals in Nigeria provides us with a wild variety of food products. These food products have great nutritional value. They are bred for commercial purposes to meet the high demand for food in the country. Dairy products such as milk and cheese, are derived from animals like goats and cows. Rearing animals give us milk and other dairy products. They also give us meat, eggs as well as fish. The rearing and breeding of animals as a good source of food. This helps to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.
Animal husbandry helps in providing food security by providing dairy products, meat, eggs, and seafood. It helps in formulating high-producing breeds of animals by cross-breeding. This increases productivity.
The rearing of animals such as cows, sheep, and goats, provides us with dairy products such as milk, butter, curd, cream, yogurt, and cheese.
Animal husbandry which is the rearing and breeding of animals also provides meat as meat is gotten from farm animals/livestock such as pigs, cows, goats, buffaloes, chickens, ducks, oxen, sheep, and turkeys, and so on. In Nigeria, the meat supply comes mainly from animals.
Animal husbandry provides us with eggs which are a good source of protein. Farm animals such as poultry birds like hens, geese and ducks are reared for the production of eggs as well.
The rearing and breeding of marine animals are the main sources of the seafood we eat. This seafood like fish, crabs, prawns, crayfish, snails, oysters, lobsters, etc. These marine animals are major sources of vitamin D, protein, fatty acids and omega-3.
Animal Husbandry Helps in Land Management
Another importance of animal husbandry is that it helps in land management. Livestock such as battle grazes lands to control the growth of unwanted plants commonly known as weeds. These weeds such as dried shrubs present in areas prone to wildfire are eaten by livestock like cows, goats, and sheep. This act reduces the risk of wildlife thereby promoting adequate land management.
Also, in this regard, livestock is used to control and monitor the growth of weeds on the land. When you let cattle roam and feed on the weeds, they play a vital role in land management.
Animal Husbandry Provides Clothing
Animal husbandry helps in providing clothing for the citizens. Asides from providing food, rearing livestock /farm animals also providing clothing. The raw materials used for making clothes such as wool and hide and skin, are gotten from animals. In other words, livestock helps in protecting people from cold weather conditions as well as other weather conditions.
Hide and skin, which is gotten from the skin of livestock such as camels is then processed into leather, which is used in the making of shoes, belts as well as leather jackets.
Also, wool gotten from sheep is used in making sweaters and shawls. Sheep are reared not just for meat, but for wool as well.
Animal Husbandry Helps in Soil Fertility
Aside from providing food and clothing, the feces gotten from animals as well as the bones of dead animals and the blood of animals, are all used as manure which aids soil fertility. This manure is spread on the farms to increase crop yields and productivity. Also, the manure gotten from the dung and remains of the animals is used as fuel for the fire. This aids the proper disposal of the animal waste as they are put to use. The manure enriches the soil and fertilizes it to increase yield during harvest. This fuel gotten from the manure is used as fuel for cooking.
Animal Husbandry Provides Labour and Animal Power
The rearing and breeding of animals could also be a source of animal labour and power. These animals such as donkeys, horses, bulls, etc, are used to transport goods and humans, ploughing agricultural fields and also for military functions.
Animal Husbandry Serves as a source of Employment Generation
Currently in Nigeria, animal husbandry employs a whole lot of people who earn a living from farming this livestock as well as poultry farmers. Irrespective of the scale on which these farmers engage, animal husbandry has played a big role in employing people in various Nigerian communities. This improves the general livelihood of the farmers as they tend to earn a living from practicing animal husbandry.
When people engage in animal husbandry, it improves their livelihood as earlier stated, as Nigerians who are butchers, herdsmen, and marketers earn big from this.
Animal Husbandry Provides Raw Materials For Industries
It is common knowledge that some raw materials got from dead animals or slain animals such as horns, bones, and animal fat, among others, are used in pharmaceutical industries as well as other manufacturing industries.
- Animal husbandry helps farmers curb and check unrestrained breeding. It helps to avoid unbridled reproduction.
- Animal Husbandry Helps to Boost National Economy
When animal husbandry is practised on a commercial level as it mostly is, it contributes towards boosting and enhancing the national economy. The produce of livestock and animals are exported to other countries. This in turn adds to the country’s revenue generation rate. In this vein, the exportation of raw materials gotten from animals converts to a massive foreign exchange return for the country.
Nigeria is known for the exportation of Morocco leather, which is gotten from the skin of the Red Sokoto goat breed, as well as the exportation of hides and skin.