The present emergence of large-scale global trade in donkey skins, with an estimated 1.8 million donkey skins traded annually, especially in Africa and Nigeria has become a serious threat to the donkey population in Nigeria and Africa which is tending towards extinction.  The gradual extinction of donkeys in the country is alarming as a result of the recent invasion of the West African market by Chinese traders in search of donkey skin which is very high in “gelatin” derived from it that possesses nutritional tonic, blood boosting and immune system enhancement which had resulted in high and rapidly increasing prices.

Approval on the establishment of the Donkey Value Chain in the Department of Animal Husbandry Services to draw more attention from a wide range of stakeholders including Government, Development Partners and the Private sector towards research, development, and Investment in the breeding and multiplication of donkeys was given during the 43rd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) held in April 2019.

 The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Department of Animal Husbandry Services conducted Stakeholders’ engagement on the need to promote increased production of a donkey in Nigeria to avert extinction.

The Stakeholders’ engagement meeting was held  on October 20th 2020 at NBC Century House, No. 33 Lusaka Street, Wuse Zone 6 Abuja and was  attended by 41 participants  which comprise the Chairman of  State Donkey Value Chain from the Northeast (Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Taraba, Bauchi) Northwest (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara) Southeast (Ebonyi, Enugu) and Lagos, Agencies, FMARD, Associations, Organization, Media, Research, Institute, Universities

In the opening address of the  Permanent Secretary delivered by Mrs Fausat Lawal, the Director of Special Duties, he appreciated the participants for honouring the invitation and stated that the Stakeholders’ Engagement has become imperative due to donkey skin being traded annually and there is an urgent need to create awareness of the increased demand. The Acting Director of Animal Husbandry Services gave her Welcome Address by appreciating all the invited participants for their response despite the present security situation in the country. She informed the participants of the importance of the meeting being the maiden edition and her expectation of robust recommendations from the meeting that will assist the Department in the development of the Donkey Value Chain.

Goodwill messages were given by the Director-General of NAPRI ably represented by Mr Haruna Ibrahim, Honourable Garba Ahmed Datti from the House of Representatives and Hon. Sani Zoro, from the Donkey Sanctuary of the United Kingdom,

Paper on the State of Donkey Production in Nigeria was presented by the Resource Person, Prof. O. Momoh, while Honorable Sani Zoro presented a paper on the Viability and Economic realities of donkey farming in Nigeria.

Three thematic areas were discussed and recommendations were presented by the three working groups.

The meeting came up with the following resolutions/ Recommendations

  • Enlightenment / Advocacy on the importance of donkeys
  • Safeguard Nigerian borders against the exportation of donkeys
  • Attracting corporate and foreign investors to the donkey value chain.
  • Improve research on donkey production in Nigeria
  • Improved security in agricultural value chains
  • Distribution of incentives to donkey farmers.
  • Legislations for a temporary ban on slaughter and trade of young and female donkeys.
  • Creation of a strong synergy between DAHS and NAPRI for enhanced research and technical Services.

After a successful event, the following activities were recommended as the next steps of action toward increasing the production of donkeys and improvement of the socio-economic status of the value chain actors.

  1. Identification, Profiling, and Registration of Donkey farmers, Traders, and Skin Processors.
  2. Sensitization/Awareness campaign on the possible extinction of donkey to be carried out in the dominant areas of production of Donkey in North West and East of Nigeria.
  3. Formation of donkey farmers’ cooperatives in the states where the donkey is reared for resource building.