Cattle farming is a lucrative business in Nigeria, whether you are raising the cattle for beef production, dairy purposes, or both.
Beef, milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products are a huge source of protein and are an important part of any diet.
Nigeria spends in excess of $2.5bn on imported frozen meat annually even though we have the capacity to rear more cattle and divert that spend to growing our economy. Presently, an estimated population of 200 million live in Nigeria with beef consumption amounting to 380,000 tonnes in 2014. This is projected to grow up to 1.3 million tonnes by 2050.
This shows that there is a market for cattle products and thus, venturing into the cattle farming industry could prove profitable.
Cattle serves other purposes asides dairy and beef production. Cattle hooves can be used to create specialized fire extinguisher foams; their bones can be used to make jewelry; cattle skin can be used to make clothing items (shoes, wallets, jackets, and belts) and cow dung can be used as manure.
Cattle farming may be your next port of call to make money. However, there are some things you need to consider before you venture into this business. They include :
Information such as cattle breeds, feeds, cost, are pertinent for business. For dairy farming, you need to be knowledgeable about information such as the milking process and the cattle breed for dairy.
On the other hand, if you want to rear cattle for beef production, you need to research feedlots, the best breeds for beef production, or if you would focus on cattle fattening.
Cattle fattening is a livestock production process that reduces animal movement, thereby fattening cattle more quickly. Cattle fattening is another area of cattle business that can be ventured into full time.
Feeding and Housing:
Cattle should be kept in sheds that will protect them from excessive sunlight, rainfall and there should be adequate provision for feeding and excretion. The sheds should also be erected in a secure area to prevent spread of diseases and theft.
Water supply is also very important. You need to provide clean and safe water supply for your cattle. If you’re a beginner, you might want to check local farms to see how proper sheds are built to accommodate feeding, water supply, and security.
Breed selection depends on the purpose of your cattle farming business.
For instance, if it is a dairy farm, it is important to note that not all cattle produce milk. In Nigeria, the cattle mainly used for milk production are the Sokoto Gudali and White Fulani.
Likewise, if you are rearing cattle for beef production, you should find out the best cattle to fulfill this purpose. In Nigeria, the best cattle for beef production is the Red Bororo and the Muturu. If you want to go into dual purpose cattle farm, you might want to seek out cattle breeds that cover both.
Also, inspection of selected breeds is necessary. It’s not enough for the cow to be able to produce milk. You need to make sure the cows you’re buying are not sick.
A proper vaccination schedule should be arranged with the veterinary doctor to maintain the cow’s health.
You should also know cow pests and diseases and how to avoid and control them. Some common cattle diseases in Nigeria are the Foot and Mouth disease and Foot rot.
Cattle needs to be in good health otherwise they may not efficiently serve their purposes and this could be cause a set back for the business.
Also, the cow’s mating plans and pregnancy care should be put into consideration.
Machinery and Equipment:
You should consider investing in modern farm equipment that will make your farm work easier and faster. Some of the equipment you can invest in include milking machine, hay feeders, and cooling devices.These equipment will increase your turnaround time, reduce wastage and lead to increased profits.
Every business needs capital to thrive. When starting a cattle farming business, there are many ways to obtain capital. You could save up for it or obtain a loan. It could be a soft loan from family or friends, or a loan from the bank.
If you intend to obtain a loan from a financial institution, you might want to carry your business plan along.
You might be asking, what’s the point of a business plan? A business plan helps in the following areas; strategic focus and alignment, accountability, and business management. It serves as a blueprint for your business and writing one helps you determine just how solid your business idea is and how it will be executed.
You can hire an expert to write your business plan or go the DIY route. If you plan to do the latter, please subscribe to our mailing list using the form to the top right (for desktop) or below (for mobile) to get a notification for our next blog post on how to write a cattle farming business plan.