Yam – 47.9m tonnes
 Cassava – 59m tonnes
 Kolanuts – 140,000 tonnes
 Shea nuts – 303,000 tonnes
 Melon seeds – 606,000 tonnes
 Bitter Leaf – No production figures available although Nigeria is believed to account for about 50% of global output
 Cocoyam – 5.38m tonnes
 Air potato vine (monkey yam) – No production figures available although Nigeria is believed to be the world’s largest producer
 Bitter kola – 150,000 tonnes
 Cow peas (brown beans) – 3.7m tonnes
As part of this national animal husbandry debate, we should be giving top priority to the opening of animal feed compounding plants across Nigeria. Something like monkey yam which is not really suited to human consumption should be cultivated exclusively for animal feed.
I look at this Fulani herdsmen saga and see it the way I see Radar development in the UK. In the run-up to World War Two, the British knew a German attack was imminent so they developed a Radar system to provide early warnings of attacks from Luftwaffe bombers.
Look at how British Radar development has since taken off, opening up unprecedented opportunities in the telecommunications industry. This is a classic case of turning adversity into opportunity which Nigeria needs to learn from.
I look forward to the governors of Niger, Borno, Taraba, Yobe, Bauchi and Kaduna states wooing investors to open mega animal feed compounding planes within their domains. These plants will not only furnish local mega ranches but also produce an excess for export.
Do you know that the global animal feed industry is worth about $93bn annually? Tiny Netherlands with its population of just 17.5m and a landmass of just 41,865 square kilometres generates about $2.3bn annually from the export of animal feed products yet Nigeria with 200m people and an area of 923,769 square kilometres does not generate one dollar.
If we want to, we can easily replace crude oil as our major export earner but alas, is the will to do it there? Everyone is waiting for the president of the country to solve all our economic woes, which is never going to happen.
We have a president who is fast asleep on the job and state governors who do not have a clue what they are in office for. We have a weak private sector, a populace awaiting divine intervention, billions of dollars of uninvested religious finance which clergymen are sitting on, some 10.5m kids out of school, sycophancy reigning supreme, a nation awash with arms and a distorted manner of thinking whereby everyone wants to get rich quickly.
In such an environment, crime, terrorism, banditry, etc will always thrive. The only problem with Nigeria is Nigerians!