Nigeria:”This cannot continue in a modern nation”

“Move, quickly!” Shepherds scream and make their way through the crowd as a column of long-horned cows advances through the swirling dust. Thousands of beasts trample the ground strewn with plastic bags. It is mid-morning, but the heat is already scorching. Customers arrived and trading began.

Population boom

We are at the Agege market in Lagos, the most important trade hub for cattle in West Africa. Fifty trucks loaded with animals for slaughter arrive here every day: they are destined to feed the 20 million inhabitants of the largest city in Africa. Nigeria has more than 200 million mouths to feed, a figure that will double by 2050. Parallel to the demographic boom, the demand for meat and milk is increasing. But the growing internal demand for consumption inevitably causes imbalances and tensions in the most populous nation on the continent.

allevamento 300x200 Nigeria:This cannot continue in a modern nation

Agege is the last stop on the animals’ journey. They were raised hundreds of kilometers away from the Fulani, Peul in the French-speaking countries, semi-nomadic shepherds present mainly in the north of the country, then they were sold in rural markets and finally brought to Lagos. Some cattle, exhausted from the journey and weakened by disease, collapse upon arrival. Lying on their hips, panting, with protruding ribs, they die amid groans.



Romano Pisciotti

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