A cross-section of livestock farmers in the Federal Capital Territory has appealed to the Federal Government and commercial banks to provide them with soft loans to boost their business.
The farmers made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
According to the farmers, livestock farming significantly contributes to the development of the agriculture sector and the nation’s economy, which requires adequate funding.
Mr Bulus Magaji, a poultry farmer in Gwagwalada said that the business was capital intensive, adding that it was expensive to purchase a farmland in FCT as well as other farming inputs.
“This aspect of livestock farming presents one of the finest opportunities for entrepreneurs to make good money as well as boost the economy.
“Poultry farming in Nigeria is probably one of the most lucrative farming businesses you can do but requires adequate funding for it to thrive.
“Anyone who wishes to start poultry farming in Nigeria requires adequate funding to sustain the business,’’ he said.
Magaji, however, decried the increase in the price of chicken feeds, saying that this had led to high cost of operating poultry business especially during the festivities.
He suggested that the only way to break even and make profit, would be to increase the price of his chickens during the yuletide.
Mr John Audu, a pig farmer in Abaji Area Council, said that piggery was another aspect of farming in the country that was profitable to investors and entrepreneurs but required adequate funding.
Audu noted that pig farming in Nigeria was lucrative and had good market value, adding that China was the world’s largest pig meat consumer.
“Pig farming is good business in the country and you can sell your products on the local and international markets.
“This aspect of farming also has great business opportunities for the unemployed and for people who want to raise pigs commercially.
“The government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture should assist farmers with soft loans to enable us boost our business, ‘’ he said.
Malam Musa Bala, a cattle farmer in Kuje Area Council, noted that if livestock farming was adequately funded, it would go a long way in addressing food insecurity in the country.
According to him, cattle farming in Nigeria is also a lucrative branch of agriculture which has made many investors profits and created employment for many.
Bala listed some major challenges faced in cattle farming as: capital, land availability, disease and pest control, weather conditions, government policies, poor management, lack of skills, among others.