Livestock & Fisheries: Conspicuous Progress Recorded In All Domains
Government activity in the past seven years led to the increase in production of meat, chicken, fish, milk and professionalization of the sector.
The activities of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA) for the past seven years were guided by directives of the Head of State geared towards guaranteeing nationwide food security and rural development.
These include the guidelines dished out by President Paul Biya at the 2011 Agropastoral Show in Ebolowa, the Three-Year Emergency Plan for the Acceleration of Economic Growth (PLANUT) and the Emergency Response Plan for the populations of the Far North and North regions.
In strict implementation of the said directives which for the most part, constituted the mission of MINEPIA, the country recorded palpable improvement in production of meat, chicken, fish, milk, eggs and other products in both quantity and quality and promoting job creation.
Implemented following the provisions of the law guiding the execution of the national budget, MINEPIA grouped its activities in four programmes; the Programme of Development of Animal Productions and Industries, the programme for improving sanitary coverage of livestock and the fight against animal diseases, the Fisheries Production Development Programme and the Governance and Institutional Support programme in the livestock, fisheries and animal industries sub-sector.
Statistics from MINEPIA indicate that the implementation of these programmes yielded fruits, given the upward trend in the production amid security issues in the northern and eastern regions that have been hampering socio- economic development. The numbers of the main livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry increased over the 2011-2017 period.
Cattle numbers increased at an average of eight per cent per year. The numbers grew from 5.08 million heads in 2011 to 7.9 million in 2017, an increase of 57 per cent over the period. As for sheep, there was a 17 per cent increase in the number of sheepfrom 2.9 million heads in 2011 to 3.4 million in 2017.
Goats recorded an average growth of 1.1 per cent annually, taking their numbers from 6, 05 million to 6, 4 million. Swine and poultry grew at an annual rate of 4.6 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively, representing an increase in pigs from 2.8 million to 3.6 million heads and poultry from 65.3 million to 83.5 million fowls. The quantity of meat production equally grew by nearly 20 per cent as it rose from 313,000 tonnes in 2011 to 380,326 tonnes in 2017.
Fish production rose from 205,000 tonnes to 285,000 tonnes, impelled by the high availability of shrimp on the market, justified by numerous actions, including better control
of the seaboard, the reduction of post-harvest losses and the development of commercial aquaculture through the introduction of new techniques and technologies.
Milk production increased from 109,000 tonnes to 239,174 tonnes while the production of eggs leapfrogged from 63,000 tonnes to 89, 177
Besides pushing increase in quantity and quality, government, under the instructions of President Paul Biya, also reinforced diversification of funding
for the livestock, aquaculture and animal industries, and equally promoted professionalization and training in agro-pastoral professions.