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Livestock Feeds in 2024: Africa's top business ideas and opportunities

Africa has over 3 billion farm animals and feeding this large livestock population is a huge, $85 billion annual business. This guide explores the most lucrative opportunities in this fast-growing market.

Africa has 2.5 times more farm animals than humans, and feeding this huge livestock population is a big, multi-billion-dollar business.

Many people don’t know that Africa has one of the world’s highest numbers of farm animals.

In fact, the continent is home to one-third of the world’s total livestock population.

Based on FAO estimates (2020), Africa’s livestock inventory includes 2.15 billion chickens, 370 million cattle, 44 million pigs, over 700 million goats and sheep, and several million tons of farmed fish.

In Africa, there is far more livestock than people and their numbers are growing much faster than the human population.

Besides their sheer numbers, livestock has significant economic importance in Africa. Livestock contributes up to 40% of agricultural GDP (on average) in Africa, ranging from 10% to 80% in individual countries.

This is why livestock feeds, the industry that provides nutrition for Africa’s large livestock population, is a huge and fast-growing international business.

Every year, over 1 billion metric tonnes of animal feed is produced worldwide.

The global demand for animal feed was valued at $482 billion (in 2021) and is projected to exceed $600 billion by the end of the decade, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 5%.

Africa’s share of the global animal feed market is about is estimated at $85.5 billion (2020) and is expected to exceed $100 billion before the end of the decade, representing almost 20% of the world’s total demand for feed.

Livestock or animal feed refers to food that is specifically produced for farm animals. They are formulated to provide the necessary nutrition for the growth, maintenance, and reproduction of farm animals such as cattle, pigs, poultry, goats, sheep, and fish.

In the modern animal feed industry, “compound feeds” are the key focus.

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