Effective biotechnologies for revolutionalizing the livestock industry in Nigeria after COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe health and hunger challenges both in developed and developing economies of the world thereby posing a serious threat to the economies and food security issues particularly of vulnerable regions of the world. Currently in Nigeria, there is a great increase in the market prices of crops and livestock products occasioned by the prevailing clashes between crop farmer and livestock herders. There is thus a huge gap in the demand and supply of available essential agricultural products leading to the high inflation rate being witnessed in the country today. With the current population of over 200 million which is expected to double by 2050, the task of feeding these Nigerians is daunting and very challenging. To overcome these challenges, the livestock industry in Nigeria needs to be transformed accordingly. FAO report of 2019 had advised African livestock producers to work to expand the scope of their operations and to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies in order to meet the growing demands for livestock products. The adoption of biotechnological innovations already available in animal reproduction, nutrition, health and genetics, is a clear pathway to enhance livestock production in Nigeria. The Nigerian Government is expected to play a leading role by providing enabling environment that will make for easy and seamless adoption of these technologies. Nigerian livestock farmers on their part should be ready and willing to embrace these technologies to enhance the productive capacity of their stock as well as improving their own welfare and economic wellbeing.
Key words: COVID-19 pandemic, biotechnology, livestock industry, development, Nigeria