Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labour and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool.
The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats.
The use of technology in improving agricultural processes cannot be overemphasised as technology has, overtime, accelerated processes and functions in various sectors.
Most subsistence farmers, who farm for themselves and their families, may think technology will only be useful to commercial farmers, but this, is not true.
The Chief Executive Officer, TMD Synergy Africa, Mr Victor Nwufoh, said farmers should adopt technology to tackle the problem of odour and flies in livestock farming.
Nwufoh said the use of chemicals, growth hormones and medicines, which are pioneering produce that radically improve animal health, generate opportunities that could enhance livestock farming in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of livestock247.com, Mr Ibrahim Maigari, expressed optimism about the fast-growing online initiative of trading farm produce.
He noted that the company particularly made a lot of profit during the yuletide as the online platform afforded people the opportunity to get livestock without stress.
According to him, such celebrations call for the purchasing of livestock such as cows, goats or rams, depending on the budget.
Maigari said, “But beyond the yuletide season, buying livestock every now and then is a part of life. There is always a party to host and if not, then surely a party to attend. Either way, the familiar way of buying livestock in Nigeria as at today has been radically altered.
“This is because the landscape as obtainable in the livestock market has undergone a shift in recent times, with the birthing of livestock247.com, an online business to business platform that caters exclusively to the livestock industry.”
Maigari stated that by effectively linking the relevant stakeholders in the industry, opening up the frontiers of business and bringing all critical stakeholders – merchants, traders, buyers, haulage professionals and veterinary experts – together in one platform, Livestock247 was guaranteeing an improved business climate for Nigerians.
“The core objective of Livestock247 is to improve the way that business transactions are carried out in the livestock market, thus making it easier for people to buy cows, goats or rams from wherever they are in Nigeria without the attendant bottlenecks that such transaction would normally entail in the open market,” he added.
He expressed delight that the platform had grown and had added value to the lives of many people within the short time it launched as many of the customers that purchased livestock on the platform had expressed satisfaction.
He said the ease with which livestock was purchased was in contrast to the usually hectic grind of visiting livestock markets that many people know to be a nightmare.
Maigari stressed that apart from merely enabling commerce, another critical role technology plays in the livestock sector is to stem the prevalence of infectious animal-to-human diseases that people get from consuming unwholesome meat.
He stated, “Whatever you are buying or selling on Livestock247 must meet serious veterinary qualification; meaning it has to be fit for slaughter. Our vision is to mitigate the spread of zoonotic diseases. That is, ‘animal-to-human’ diseases. It is massive.
“Buying on livestock247 is even cheaper because we have removed all the padding. What we are doing now is to make it direct; we are enhancing the owner of the livestock and we are enriching the buyer.”
He noted that all the inconveniences attached to dressing livestock for consumption had been taken away, saying, “So, it comes to you very much cheaper if you put the inconveniences of going to the market.”
Factors hindering adoption of technology in farming
An article by Andrei Parvan, titled, ‘Agricultural technology adoption: Issues for consideration when scaling-up, highlighted major challenges with the adoption of technology as:
Farm size is often one of the first factors measured when modelling adoption pro-cesses. Farm size does not always have the same effect on adoption; rather the literature finds that the effects of farm size vary depending on the type of technol¬ogy being introduced, and the institutional setting of the local community.
Fixed costs are often a primary barrier to adoption; therefore, spreading fixed costs over a larger farm may be one explanation for the observed positive association be-tween farm size and propensity to adopt.
Risk and uncertainty
All technology adoption decisions carry with them some mixture of subjective risk — such as human tendencies to assume more uncertainty in outcomes from unfamiliar techniques — and objective risks resulting from variations in rainfall, pests, diseases and other blights, and the timely access to critical inputs.
The observed patterns of technology adoption are typically influenced by the farmers’ individual risk preferences and their ability to bear the risk of a new and uncertain endeavour.
These variables are comprised of individual or community characteristics such as education, human health indicators, age and gender demographics, and their relationship to technology adoption is one of potential. Human capital can be divided into worker ability and allocative ability, with the latter defined as the ability to adjust to change.
The labour market affects technology adoption differently depending on whether the area targeted with the technology has a net labour shortage or net labour surplus; seasonal availability adds another dimension.
Another consideration is whether the proposed technology is labour-saving or labour-intensive.
Access to credit is an indicator which manifests itself in other factors, such as farm size (since a farmer can borrow more money against a larger farm than a smaller farm, all other things being equal), human capital (because farmers with more education are better informed about credit practices and can even shop around for competitive interest rates), and tenure (since a sharecropper does not own land, and cannot borrow against its value).
Increased access to credit sources can help farmers surmount short-run liquidity constraints and increase technology adoption.