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The study sought to assess the urban and peri-urban livestock keeping in Makurdi metropolis of Benue State, Nigeria. Six council wards were randomly selected out of the 11 council wards in the study area. Twenty livestock farmers were randomly selected from each of the council wards. Thus, a total of 120 farmers were used for the study.  Structured interview schedule/questionnaire was used to collect data. Data collected were analysed using percentages, mean scores and factor analysis. The findings revealed that, majority (56.8%) of the respondents were male farmers. The mean age of the farmers was 36.1 years. A greater proportion (39.5%) of the respondents had no formal education. The mean number of years spent in school was 7.3 years. The major livestock kept by the farmers were poultry (76.3%), cow (26.3%), goat (6.1%) and sheep (5.3%). The mean stock sizes of the major livestock kept were: poultry (M = 486), cow (M = 21), sheep (M = 34), goat (M = 20). Majority (86.3%) of the livestock farmers engaged in poultry production on large scale, while majority (60.0%) of the farmers also engaged in goat production on large scale. Majority (71.9%) of the respondents used intensive system of production for poultry, sheep (4.4%) and pig (5.3%) while semi-intensive system was used mostly for cattle (23.7%) and poultry (7.9%). Extensive system of production was used for poultry (1.8%) and cow (0.9%).   About 79.0% of the farmers used homestead for poultry, while 18.4% used it for cow, goat (6.1%), sheep (5.3%) and pig (3.5%) production. On the other hand, off plot was used by 6.1% of the respondents for cow rearing. Unused land was only used by few (0.9%) farmers for poultry production.  Majority (76.0%) of the respondents used houses with concrete floor and roofed with zinc for poultry, cow (23.7%) and goat (5.3%) production. However, earthen floored houses roofed with zinc were used by 28.8% for housing cow, while 16.7%, 5.3% and 4.4% used for poultry, goat and sheep respectively. Majority (98.2%) of farmers kept livestock for the purpose of household consumption, income generation (97.4%), source of protein (96.5%); cash reserve (95.6%) and substitution for cash (94.7%) etc. Sourcing of information (99.1%) and extension services (99.1%) were the major linkages between rural and urban livestock farmers.  The major constraints to livestock production were lack of capital (M=1.97), low reproductive rate (M=1.94), unavailability of market (M=1.92), poor market prizes (M=1.92) poor transport services (M=1.91) etc. The constraints were further subjected to factor analysis and were later grouped into financial constraints, technical constraints and site location constraints. Majority (98.2%) of the respondents were aware of extension services and were visited by extension agents for one reason or the other, though there was irregular contact between farmers and extension agents.  The extension need of the livestock farmers were mostly in livestock marketing (M=2.00), vaccine procurement (M=2.00), disease prevention (M=2.00), vaccine and disease management (M=2.00), livestock housing (M=1.99), livestock procurement (M=1.99)


Title page       …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        i

Certification    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        ii

Dedication      …        ….       …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        iii

Acknowledgements    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        iv

Table of Contents       …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        v

List of tables   …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        vii

List of figures  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        viii

Abstract           …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION        …        …        …        …        …        …        1

1.1 Background information   …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        1

1.2 Problem statement            …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        5

1.3 Purpose of the study         …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        7

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE        …        …        …        …        …        8

2.1       Livestock production and their types             ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         8

2.1.1 Livestock production             ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         8

2.1.2 System of livestock production         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         10

2.1.3 Types of livestock kept in urban/peri-urban areas                 ...         ...         ...         12

2.1.4 Scale of livestock production            ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         15

2.2 Importance of livestock production          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         17

2.3 Linkages between urban/peri urban livestock farmers                 ...         ...         ...         20

2.4 Constraints to livestock production          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         21

2.5 Extension needs of urban/peri-urban livestock farmers               ...         ...         ...         23

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY  ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         27

3.1 The study area       ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         27

3.2 Population and sampling               ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         27

3.3 Data collection      ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         27

3.4 Measurement of variables             ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         28

3.5 Data analysis         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         31

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS  ...         ...         ...         32

4.1 Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents          ...         ...         ...         ...         32

4.2 Livestock production system        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         37

4.3 Reasons for keeping livestock      ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         45

4.4 Linkages between urban and rural livestock production              ...         ...         ...         40

4.5 Constraints to livestock production          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         49

4.6 Extension needs of urban and peri-urban livestock farmers         ...         ...         ...         56


5.1 Summary   ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         64

5.2 Conclusion            ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         64

5.3 Recommendation              ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         65

REFRENCES           ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         66



1.1 Background information

            The world is rapidly urbanizing with an average global increase of 160,000 people per day, mostly occurring in developing countries (Ministry of Agriculture Kenya, 2010). The report further stated that in the year 2000, approximately 49% of the world was urbanized and it was expected to be 52% by 2010 and 60% by 2020. In sub Saharan Africa (SSA), urban areas account for 34.0% of the total population of 611  million in 2005, which will approach 440 million, or 46% of its projected total of 952 million, by 2020 (FAO, 2007).The urbanization in many African countries is because of the increase in rural-urban migration as people seek better livelihood sources in urban areas and as a result, urbanization continues to present challenges in infrastructure development, services provision and food requirements to meet the needs of increasing urban populations (Ministry of Agriculture Kenya, 2010).

Unfortunately rapid urbanization has been accompanied with inequitable economic growth and has resulted in increased urban poverty with many low income households suffering from limited alternative livelihood, food insecurity among others. (Ministry of Agriculture Kenya, 2010). It is because of the high incidence of the urban poverty that majority of the urban poor engage in urban agriculture as a response to limited alternative livelihood options and food insecurity (Armar-Klemesu 2000).

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) can be defined simply as the growing of plants and the raising of animals within and around cities (Chris, in Van, 2006). According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD, 1996 in City Farmer, 2006), UPA which is synonymous to urban farming is an industry that produces processes and markets food on land and water dispersed throughout urban and peri-urban areas. It is an entrepreneurial activity for people from different levels of income.

The most striking feature of UPA, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban and peri urban economic and ecological system; it is embedded in and is interacting with the urban ecosystem (Mougeot, 2000). Such interaction include the use of urban residents labourers, use of typical urban resources (like organic waste as compost and urban wastewater for irrigation), direct links with urban consumers, direct impacts on urban ecology (positive and negative), being part of the urban food system, competing for land with other urban functions, being influenced by urban policies and plans, etc. Urban agriculture may take place in locations inside the cities (intra-urban) or in the peri-urban areas. The activities may take place on the homestead (on-plot) or on land away from the residence (off-plot), on private land (owned, leased) or on public land (parks, conservation areas, along roads, streams and railways), or semi-public land like schoolyards, grounds of schools and hospitals (Waters-Bayer, 2000).

Since the 1970s, urban agriculture has recorded significant growth and increasing popularity as a result of the following key factors that made it a survival strategy by the poor urban farming families: Ineffective agricultural policies, crippled domestic food-distribution systems, constrained public spending and subsidies, wage cuts, soaring inflation and rising unemployment, plummeting purchasing power, and lax urban land use regulations or enforcement and more importantly rapid urbanisation, (UNDP, 1996 in City Farmer 2006).

According to People and Planet (2005), some 800 million city dwellers are involved in urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) on a small or large scale and collectively, they produce about 15% of the World’s food. In Singapore UPA provides 25% of its vegetable and much of its fish while in Hong-Kong, 66% of the poultry and 50% of its vegetable are provided by UPA. So important is urban farming to city food security that 25% of Kenya’s urban population survives on it. In Buenos Aires, 20% of the city’s nutritional needs come from urban and peri-urban agriculture  (UNDP, 1996 in City Farmer, 2006 ). In Nairobi, the urban poor populations in the informal settlements are the major actors in urban agriculture where vulnerable groups such as female–headed households, children, retired people, widows, and people with limited formal education are particularly involved (Ministry of Agriculture Kenya, 2010).

In Nigeria, UA provides food products, from different types of crops (grains, root crops, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits) and livestock (poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, guinea pigs, fish, etc.) as well as non-food products (like aromatic and medicinal herbs, ornamental plants, tree products, etc.) or combinations of these (Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG),2004).

The contribution of UA to food security and healthy nutrition is probably its most important asset (FAO, 2007). Food production in the city is often a response of the urban poor to inadequate, unreliable and irregular access to food and lack of purchasing power. In urban settings, lack of income translates more directly into lack of food than in rural settings (FAO, 2007). The costs of supplying and distributing food from rural areas to the urban areas, or to import food for the cities, are rising continuously, and distribution within the cities is uneven and costly. As a consequence, urban food insecurity has increased (Argenti, 2000 in FAO, 2007).  In addition to enhanced food security and nutrition of urban producers themselves (Nugent, 2000), large quantities of food are produced for other categories of the population. It is estimated that 200 million urban residents (FAO, 1999) produce food for the urban market providing 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food (Armar-Klemesu, 2000). Urban and peri-urban farms may also assume an important role by providing recreational and educational activities to urban citizens or in landscape and biodiversity management and community building (Smit and Bailkey, 2006). Urban and peri-urban farms equally include livestock keeping.

Livestock is an important component of UPA and can be referred to as one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fibre and labour and are therefore generally raised for subsistence or for profit purposes. It has been practised in many cultures since the transition to farming from hunter-gather lifestyles. Traditionally, livestock keeping is an activity associated with rural settings and has transited from these boundaries to peri-urban and urban areas.  The associated potential health and environmental risk notwithstanding, the economic benefits derived from such activity tend to override the perceived risks (Ajayi, 2008). Hence many urban and peri-urban dwellers are engaged in livestock keeping.

Throughout the developing world, and especially in Africa, livestock are important physical and financial capital for many urban households (FAO, 2007). As a regular source of income, livestock represent a form of savings. They may also generate additional physical capital in the form of manure (Prain, 2006). In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 20 million litres of non-pasteurized milk came from backyard city farms and are sold directly to the consumer by the producer; profits are earned with very low capital input by even the smallest-scale backyard owners of inner city dairy units, who are generally women (Tegegne, 2002). Commercial urban livestock keeping for instance piggery and poultry farming, in particular, are profitable ventures that can generate significant income and guarantee a quick return on capital.

In Benue state, livestock is used for social and economic value, as insurance against crop failure, usage for cultural festivities and religious sacrifices (Ayoade, 1999 in Ofukwu and Akwuibu, 2010). Sheep and goats are major sources of meat, wool, skin and farm yard manure for more than 70% of indigenous population of the state (Ofukwu and Akwuibu, 2010).

In spite of the fact that Benue state, just like many other states in Nigeria, is endowed with superfluous human and natural resources, her per capita agricultural productivity seems to be declining, especially in the area of livestock production. According to Williams and Williams (1984 in Ofukwu and Akwuibu, 2010 ), Nigeria’s inability to feed its ever increasing teeming population with adequate calorie and protein remains one of its greatest challenges today in spite of the fact that it possesses vast resources in livestock development. Although considerable efforts have been made to increase the availability of calorie/protein from crop and animal products, the contribution of animal protein to the diet of an average Nigerian has been negligible vis-à-vis the needs due to scarcity and low level of production. According to Imoh (2000), about 28 per cent (65g) of estimated minimum protein requirement for an average Nigerian adult per day should be obtained from animal protein. But only 7.5g is derived from animal sources (Ositelu, 1981). This situation has not changed much up till now (Ofukwu and Akwuibu, 2010).

1.2 Problem statement            

It is estimated that two thirds of the world’s poor people will be found in urban areas by 2030   and most of this increase will be in cities of less developed countries (Ishani, et al, 2002). Urbanization is expected to increase in both the more developed and the less developed regions so that by 2050, urban dwellers will likely account for 86 percent of the population in the more developed regions and for 66 percent of that in the less developed countries and in the overall, the world population is expected to be 69% urban by 2050 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affair/Population Division, 2009). In Nigeria, the rate of population growth has been spectacular; the urban population is about 48.2% and projections indicate that more than 60% of Nigerian will live in urban centres  by the year 2050 (Alkali, 2005). There are more than 840 urban centres and well over 10 cities with populations of over a million; Lagos State alone is larger than 32 African countries and has a population projected to rise to 23 million by the year 2015 (Alkali, 2005).

Unfortunately rapid urbanization has not been accompanied by equitable economic growth and hence the conditions certainly pose great sustainable food security challenge for urban centres especially among the urban poor (Acquaym, 2000 in Olugbenga, Akinmoladun and  Adejumo, 2011). While the urban elites will perhaps continue to purchase large quantities of imported food from supermarkets, the growing number of urban poor, many of whom have no employment and limited access to resources may not have adequate access to food. As a result, many low-income households will suffer from extremely limited livelihood security.

Over  fifteen years of economic depression in Nigeria with the accompanying high unemployment and inflation rates, 60% of the metropolitan population had been pushed below the US$1 poverty mark and generally, expenditure on food takes a high percentage of urban household resources (Olugbenga, Akinmoladun and Adejumo, 2011). According to Tansa (1996), the poorest households spend up to 90% of their meagre income on food. As a result of this high incidence of urban poverty majority of urban poor are engaged in UA to reduce poverty and enhance food security.

Benue State has a total population of 2,780,398 (NPC, 2007) which was projected to 3,100,311 in 1996 with an average population density of 99 persons persq.km. Currently, the state has a total population of 4,219,244   and as a result the 14th most populous state in Nigeria (http://wwwinformationnigeria.org/2009/04/nigeria-by-population.html). Specifically, three towns stand out very clearly as important urban centres which together account for more
than 70 per cent of the population of the state. These centres are Makurdi (194,954), Gboko (125,944) and Oturkpo (88,958). They are amongst the oldest towns in the state and are growing at a much faster rate than the smaller younger towns (NPC 2007). Although Benue state is acclaimed the nation’s food basket because of its rich and diverse agricultural produce, the population of Benue State, just like many other urban cities in Nigeria, is growing more than agricultural production. As a result, the city dwellers are engaged in survival strategies, one of which is livestock keeping. However, information on the contributions of urban and peri urban livestock keeping in alleviating the suffering the suffering the people of Makurdi metropolis is necessary.   Consequently, this study was designed to address the following research questions: what types of livestock are reared in urban and peri-urban areas of Makurdi? What is the scale of production and what are their reasons for keeping livestock? What link exists between the urban and rural livestock farmers? What constraints/challenges do the farmers face? And what are the extension needs of the urban livestock farmers?

1.3       Purpose of the study

The general purpose of the study is to assess urban and peri urban livestock production in Makurdi metropolis of Benue State.

Specifically. the study sought to:

  1. assess livestock production systems ,
  2. ascertain the reasons for keeping livestock in urban and peri urban areas of Makurdi,
  3. determine linkages between the urban/peri-urban and rural livestock farmers,
  4. identify the constraints/challenges urban and peri-livestock farmers face in livestock production, and
  5. identify extension needs of urban and peri-urban livestock farmers.


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