Dwnloads General National Focal Point Reports


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There has been a dearth of information on animal genetic resources (AnGR) in Nigeria even though efforts at preparing a comprehensive programme for the sustainable management of animal genetic resources at the global level were initiated by FAO in 1990. In 1991, FAO initiated Global breed surveys to report on seven mammalian species (ass, buffalo, horse, sheep, goat, cattle, and horse) that led to the establishment of Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources and publication of the first World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity

Animal genetic resources (AnGR) for food and agriculture provide crucial options for the sustainable development of livestock production. The erosion of these resources globally, and particularly in many developing countries, has accelerated in recent years as a consequence of the rapid changes affecting livestock production systems (intensification and industrialization) as they respond to surging global demand for animal products. Disease outbreaks, other disasters and emergencies (armed conflicts, droughts, etc.) and the degradation of grazing land are also threats.

Nigeria’s Animal genetic Resources (AnGR) Project is aimed at preserving indigenous livestock resources in the country in order to enhance food security and economic sustenance of the populace. Nigeria’s indigenous livestock biodiversity, mainly in the custody of the traditional producers, are utilised for farm work, transportation and food, all in conformity with the Global Plan of Action of Animal Genetic Resources. They also serve as source of genetic material for breeding. These resources include;



There are eight widely known indigenous cattle breeds in Nigeria. Seven of these are highly localised while the Bunaji is widespread and singularly multipurpose. Other breeds are the SokotoGudali, Kuri, Jali, Muturu, Keteku, Wadara and the N’dama.


There are four breeds of sheep in Nigeria. The Yankasa is the only breed that is widespread and intermediate in performance. Other breeds are the Balami, Uda, and the West African Dwarf (WAD).


There are three goats breeds in Nigeria. All are restricted to their zones of origin.

Red Sokoto – North West, Sahel – North East, WAD – Southern part of the country


Pig in Nigeria could be classified based on their snout length in two types; long and short. Both are found in the southern part of the country.


Several breeds of local chicken, ducks, turkeys and Guinea fowls are also found in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s most prominent initiative on Animal Genetic Resources revolves around in-situ, in-vivo conservation whereby livestock species such as cattle, sheep, goat, pig and poultry are preserved and managed in Breeding and multiplication centres in various geographical zones where they are best suited. Funding and management of the stocks are borne by Federal Government of Nigeria which in turn distributes the offspring to livestock farmers in states and local government areas. There is need for long lasting policy formulation that will dictate the activity and guide the management of AnGR in Nigeria.

Activities of AnGR in Nigeria are dictated by contributions from focal point members drawn from government organisations (Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Science and Technology), Universities and Research Institutes. Specifically,Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAB) Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART) Ibadan, Nigerian Conservation Fund (NCF), National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) are public agencies that have been actively involved in the development of Nigeria’s AnGR. What has been done in the past regarding the status of AnGR in Nigeria are inventory and capacity building. Presently, Research centres and Universities such as FUNAAB, University of Nigeria Nsuka (UNN) and University of Ibadan (UI) have begun phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of different indigenous breeds and species. For instance UNN has successfully carried out both phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of indigenous breeds of chicken in Nigeria.

In order to be up-to date, with development of AnGR globally, Nigeria is cooperating with International Organisations and agencies such as FAO, AU-IBAR by attending conferences and workshops where ideas are exchanged on how to move the sector forward.

Status of breeding and Multiplication centres

The defunct Federal Department of Livestock in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development over the years established Livestock Breeding and Multiplication Centres to conserve and provide improved seed stock of indigenous breeds of livestock in their ecological zones of adaptation.

For many years the operations of some of these centres progressed according to plans and targets. These periods of sustainable progress peaked during the World Bank funding of Second Livestock Development Programme (SLDP) but shortly after the SLDP opportunities, the projects had to depend entirely on funding from Annual Allocations for Capital projects which over time became inadequate, untimely and irregular resulting to the: deterioration of infrastructure, inadequate feeding in both quantity and quality, lowered resistance to disease situation, poor reproductive performance as a result of continued in-breeding, threats of land revocation by host communities, encroachment by powerful individuals seeking large enclosures of land, low morale among workers especially the junior cadre whose wages, remained in arrears of payment.

In a bid to ascertain the state of these centres, a seven man committee was set up by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development to assess the current status of the fourteen (14) Breeding and Multiplication Centres in terms of number of animals per centre, total hectares of the land available, the legal status of the land, the state of pasture availability and infrastructural facilities etc. Furthermore, they were also to assess investment opportunities in each location, minimum rehabilitation works that can be carried out in these centres before concession where possible and to make recommendation on the steps required for successful concession of the centres to the private investors for management consideration.

The committeeobserved in some of the centres that breeds of animals other than those originally intended were kept. Examples are in Adamawa and Yuguda where white Fulani cattle were raised instead of Adamawa Gudali and Yankasa instead of Balami breed of sheep respectively.

It was also observed that Pig Breeding Centre located in Sabongida-ora, Edo state was poorly sited.

The committee thus recommended that:

The following centres should be leased out to private investors under the supervision of the Ministry to ensure compliance with Ministry position on their establishment and to forestall continued encroachment that is on the increase in most of the centres. They are:

  1. Adamawa Gudali Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Jibiro, Adamawa state
  2. Balami and Ouda Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Landawa, Katsina state.
  3. Balami and Ouda Breeding and Multiplication Centre Tuma, Katsina state
  4. Sheep Multiplication Centre, Yuguda, Bauchi state
  5. WAD Goat Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Adadia, Akwa Ibom state
  6. N’dama Cattle Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Adada, Enugu state.
  7. N’dama Cattle Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Fasola, Oyo state
  8. White Fulani &SokotoGudali Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Funafuna, Niger state.
  9. Red Sokoto Goat Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Zugu, Zamfara state.
  10. Pig progeny and Multiplication Project, Okpuje-Nsukka, Enugu state.
  11. Dairy Cattle Production and Artificial Insemination Centre, Kuru, Plateau state
  12. Muturu Cattle and Multiplication Centre Oshiri, Ebonyi state

The remaining two centres, the committee suggested should be given out to Cooperative Societies in the catchment area as lease hold under the supervision of the Ministry to put them into profitable use without losing the objectives of their establishment.They are:

  1. West African Dwarf Goat Breeding and Multiplication Centre, Saki, Oyo state.
  2. Pig Multiplication Centre, Sabongida-Ora, Edo state.

The State Governments should be approached to facilitate issuance of title deeds following which the lands would be secured before leasing to investors to forestall any further encroachment by host communities.

Government should facilitate the Immediate payment of outstanding arrears of salaries owed the casual workers (herdsmen and security) and possibility of them being absorbed into mainstream of the Federal Civil Service as permanent staff.

Plans for Further Conservation If the centres Are Leased Out

Since the Livestock Breeding and Multiplication Centres were established mainly for conservation, and provision of improved seed stock of indigenous breeds of livestock in their ecological zones of adaptation, and have not been able to sustain the goal of their establishment, the Ministry has planned to lease them out to private investors under supervision in ensuring that they comply with the Ministry’s position on their establishment and to forestall continued encroachment that is on the increase in most of the centres.

Since the projects are to be leased out, the Ministry through the supervising Department can still carry out its regulatory function of ensuring that the conservation is still the target of projects.

Muturu Breed Conservation Project

The Muturu breed of Cattle is being supported for conservation in Nigeria by FAO through a grant from Global Plan of Action Funding Strategy (GPA-FS). The overall objective of the Muturu conservation project is:

  1. To support community based conservation of Muturu cattle by identifying and addressing the constraints leading to the decline of the breed, as identified by the livestock keepers themselves.
  2. To provide training on Novel and Value added Production.
  3. To provide economic incentives for raising animal of these breeds.
  4. To raise awareness of importance of indigenous genetic resources and ways of improving livelihoods of livestock keepers.

The West Africa Short horn Muturu is a unique animal and one of the smallest cattle breeds in Nigeria. It is the only beef breed that is known to be trypano-tolerant and adapted to humid rainforest in the South Rainforest Zone of Nigeria. In this area, animal of other cattle breeds hardly survive. Trypanosomosis makes cattle farming difficult, risky and almost unprofitable in this area. Muturu cattle are able to produce remarkable meat yields but not excellent in milk production. Despite their qualities local cattle farmers often reject keeping this breed because of its small body size.

In pre and early post-independence Nigerian Igbo communities, the Muturu bulls were untouchables because they belonged to the deities/gods.  They were therefore free to roam without any restrictions.  Many of such roaming bulls served as herd sires for many cows in the communities.  This greatly helped to increase their number. Their numbers progressively declined over the years due to devastating effect of Nigeria civil war, the cattle no longer enjoys most of those privileges in many communities.

Muturu cattle are now heavily restricted and kept under a variety of traditional husbandry systems which had impacted negatively on their continued survival and multiplication under challenging production environment.

In view of above, the FAO/FGN thought it fit to organize workshops in relevant ecological zones in the country where stakeholders and policy makers took a critical look at this unique animal, appraised the challenges confronting its continuous survival in its production environment and see how the fortunes of the breed could be turned around in order to save the Muturu from the looming threat of extinction.

After the workshop with stakeholders, it was concluded that Muturu cattle have enormous potential for total integration into the National Livestock Industry. Their productivity can be enhanced when managed properly. Conservation and rapid multiplication of the Muturu should be given top priority by government to save it from possible extinction.

Farmers can still improve on their production and productivity if they have access to improved production practices from livestock experts as against from other cattle farmer

Recommendations of Muturu Conservation Report:

On conclusion of the project, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Formation of Muturu Cattle Breeders’ Associations, Selection of elite Muturu cattle breeding stock,
  2. Establishment of elite Muturu Cattle Breeding Centres, Multiplication and distribution of improved progenies to recognized Muturu farmers,
  3. Establishment of strong advocacy for the enhancement of Muturu cattle production,
  • Research into genetic improvement and developing effective extension linkages,
  • Advocate for more regular workshops in these areas in order to increase the awareness of improving the production of breed, and Training of Muturu cattle rearers on adding value to their products.

Collaboration with International Agencies on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR)

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Department of Animal production and Husbandry Services as a National focal office has been collaborating with Regional agencies in the conservation of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) such as African Union Inter-African Bureau of Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). The Department has been involved in the;

Drafting of a document on the State of Animal Genetic Resources in Africa and the production of a catalogue on African AnGR titled: “Strengthening the capacity of African countries to conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources”.

This was recommended at the first project steering committee meeting in July 2014 which emphasized the need to establish the status and trends of AnGR in Africa.

Towards the production of a catalogue on African AnGR, AU-IBAR also requested member nation’s assistance in providing updated information and data for the report and production of quality photographs for the catalogue on AnGR in respective countries. Contributions requested include a collation of missing data in the country reports which were submitted in 2014. High-quality photographs of main breeds of AnGR in the country (minimum of 10 pictures/breed of the 5 top breeds 5 main species of animal were requested along with a questionnaire.


The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development has for the sake of charting a new direction is developing a roadmap on how projects and programmes will be implemented. The AnGR component of the roadmap will be implemented by the Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services through the Animal Breeding and Conservation Division. The objectives of the roadmap on animal genetic and conservation are;

  1. Domestication of Global Plan of Action for AnGR in  member countries
  2. To facilitate the development, improvement and the reproductive performance of the national herd through selection, multiplication and conservation of the various indigenous breeds of animals in Nigeria.
  1. Conservation of indigenous livestock resources in the country in order to enhance food security and economic sustenance of the populace.
  2. Enhancement of Indigenous livestock biodiversity, mainly in the custody of the traditional producers, who utilise them for farm work, transportation and food which are made to conform to the Global Plan of Action of Animal Genetic Resources.
  3. Upgrading of existing indigenous breeds for improved performance
  4. Improvement of  access to international market (foreign trade and exchange)
  5. Preparation of dedicated centres for holding, breeding and processing purposes.



  1. Short term


  1. That the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources be implemented in the country through the support of Federal Government to develop a National Strategy and Action Plan for Animal Genetic Resources.
  1. Translating the Global Plan of Action into a national action plan through facilitation and promotion of broader use of livestock biodiversity towards a better improvement in human health and nutrition as well as expand opportunities for livelihood diversification and income generation.
  2. Advocacy and sensitization of stakeholders on the need to conserve our animal genetic resources
  1. Medium term


  1. The aim is to have in place good and effective national breeding policies and programmes.
  1. Need for a nationally coordinated breeding programme
  2. Breed improvement be launched as a campaign along with other components of the livestock development programme
  1. Long term


The aim is to provide good breeding stock as well as quality dairy product and meat through the creation of 200 breeding centres across the nation using Animal Scientists and veterinarians that will be trained specifically in improved reproductive technologies (Artificial Insemination, Embryo Transfer etc.)

  1. Upgrade of existing Breed for improved performance through Public Private Partnership.
  1. Preparation of dedicated centres for holding, breeding and processing purposes.
  2. Production and supply of breeding bulls for AI.

Implementation Arrangement/Strategy.

  1. Sensitization of stakeholders involved in the use of animal genetic resources
  2. Collaboration with National and International organizations like NABDA, NAPRI,Universities NAGRAB and FAO.
  3. Training and Capacity building towards an expanded breeding programme.
  4. Meeting with all stakeholders to develop a suitable Livestock breeding policy for Nigeria.
  5. Upgrading of indigenous breeds to ensure increased daily gain.

Expected Outcomes

  • To meet the high demand for milk and meat products
  • Reduced cost and unlimited access to quality breeding stock.
  • Increased employment opportunities and empowerment for women and youth in the country.


250,000 cows upgraded successfully through Artificial Insemination in 5 years.

Expertise Needed and Sources

  1. Collaborate with Research centres like NAPRI, NACGRAB, NABDA and Universities that are involved in AI as well conservation of Animal Genetic Resources.
  2. Train 200 graduates of Animal Science and Veterinary, specifically in AI that will support private sector led and government enabled programme to establish 200 breeding centres nationwide.
  • Collaborate with International agencies reputable for A.I training.

Costing and Sources of Funds

FMARD, Private investors

Number of States and Locations

18 States (Bauchi, Benue, Jigawa, Niger, Nasarawa, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Kogi, Kebbi, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara and FCT) with comparative advantage in particular breeds/species of animals




The Department wish to appreciate the recent initiative of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in charting a way forward in the area of Animal Genetic Resources Conservation in Nigeria. This initiative will go a long way in translating the Global Plan of Action and Strategy into a National Plan of Action and Strategy.


In view of the forgoing, all stakeholders involved in Agricultural Development should put hands on deck and make relevant contributions that will move animal Agriculture forward in the country. Government at all levels are urged to demonstrate sustained political will and mobilise considerable resources that will enable Global Plan of Action on AnGR implemented successfully. There is a need for a sustained technical assistance and supports from FAO Nigeria in actualization of AnGR project goals Towards National Development.

Compiled By:

AustineNwangwu (Ph.D)

Head of Animal Breeding & Conservation Division/Focal Point, AU-IBAR Genetic Projects

Department of Animal Production & Husbandry Services

Federal; Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development Headquarters



+234 803 317 6439, +234 701 560 0005

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