Top 10 Cattle Markets in Northern Nigeria

Written by Michelle Anama Abari

Michelle is a content writer that loves writing as much as she loves reading. Her writing talks on issues relating to business and finance and other issues beyond finances where she aims to give knowledge on how to achieve one's personal best. When she's not writing, her favourite past time is reading and seeking adventures.

July 26, 2022

It is a fact that Africa is known for its rearing of animals, be it wild or domestic. Some people even say that Africa is the home to all animals, which is a very good thing. In the Sub-Saharan part of Africa, much livestock farming occurs, especially in countries like Chad, Niger, Mauritania, and Nigeria. In Nigeria, especially in the north, cattle rearing occurs. There are Top 10 cattle markets in northern Nigeria.

In Nigeria, it is known that the north is the home of cattle rearing and other livestock farming. This has been in existence long before the slave trade and the coming of Europeans. There are at least 50 cattle markets in Nigeria, and at least 30 are in northern Nigeria. Out of these 30, the top 10 cattle markets are in northern Nigeria.

These top 10 cattle markets in northern Nigeria are;

Top 10 Cattle Markets In Northern Nigeria

1. Potiskum Cattle Market, Yobe State

Potiskum is the largest city in Yobe State. It is a local government area, and the main residents of this town are the Ngizim, Kare-Kare, and Bolewa people. Potiskum emirate was organized by the Ngizim people, who had subjugated the Kare-Kare people. The state was formed in 1809 by a Chief of the Ngizim named Mai Bauya or Buyan.

Potiskum is well known for its trailer business, but did you know that this town is the largest cattle market in Sub-Saharan Africa? Yes, it is and it is one of the top 10 cattle markets in Northern Nigeria, that has a lot of stakes from neighboring states like Borno, Kano, Jigawa, and Bauchi and numerous other countries like Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.

This cattle market has no specific day for merchants to sell. Other foodstuffs like grains, millets, chickens, fish, and tomatoes, amongst others, are sold here. Although the market was raided more than 4 years ago, it reopened about a year ago and is still the largest cattle market in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. Sheme Cattle Market Katsina State

This is one of the most famous markets in Katsina, the Faskari local government area. The market is along the Funtua-Gusau route, offering easy access every Friday to merchants from various parts of the country.

Large flocks of cattle, goats, camels, veterinary drugs, and other live-stock-related things can be found here. This market is home to many cattle merchants, especially Nigerians because this is where they come to get their cattle. I guess you can call this market ‘wholesale cattle market’.

3. Maitagari Market, Jigawa State

Maitagari is a city along the frontier between Nigeria and Niger republic in Jigawa state. It has a large market that has been operating for over 150 years.

The international cattle market in Maitagari is one of the largest cattle markets in Northern Nigeria because of its weekly market day, Thursday, which happens to be the only day in every week the cattle market opens and allows all cattle merchants across the nation and international trade. What makes this reputable market top 10 cattle market in Northern Nigeria is that it supplies over 2 million cattle stocks for trading.

Asides from the famous cattle market in Maitagari, the market is also known for selling food items like Gairo and Dawa (guinea corn and millet), goats, chicken, and small kitchen utensils, amongst others.

4. Wudil Cattle Market, Kano State

The Wudil cattle market, located in Kano State, is surprisingly the second largest livestock market, at least to some people. It is a weekly market with cattle, grains, and onions as its primary sales produce each Friday grain segment done in the Wudil industry. Main grains include white maize, yellow maize, sorghum, groundnut, local rice, beans, soya beans, and millet.

This market has existed for many decades. It has been a tradition that people from far and near leave their houses to participate in this business, especially the cattle business. In the Wudil market, a lot of meat and livestock are sold. Most often, this is where people who sell Ram meats and suya meat come to purchase their meat. Cattle are always available in this market; it has built confidence in merchants and their allies.

5. Zangon Shanu Cattle Market, Kaduna State

I can tell you that this market is top-notch and has certainly earned its title as one of the top 10 cattle markets in Northern Nigeria.

Zango is a small localaity in Zaria, located in Kaduna state. This town is quite famous for its cattle market, although it is small, I’ve often heard people who reside in Abuja tell a relative in Zaria to help purchase meat from Zango.

The meat sold in the Zango cattle market is very cheap, and the meats are always fresh. They sell all sorts of meat, from goat to cow meat to fresh and healthy chicken. Although this cattle market isn’t as large as the Potiskum, Wudil cattle market, etc. It is very famous, especially for indigenes of Zaria and Kano.

6. Gassol Cattle Market, Taraba State

Indigenes of this place do farming, fishing, and cattle rearing due to vast grazing land and rivers that provide water all year round.

Though it boasts of fish and grain markets, the cattle market is one of the new occupations here. But with the coming of cattle rearing, the Gassol cattle market has become one of the top 10 cattle markets in northern Nigeria. This is because a few months before the market opened wide, all stakeholders, including pastoralist cattle merchants, agreed that the market should hold every Saturday.

Although this market isn’t very popular, with indigenes and pastoral cattle merchants, this cattle market is rising fast and has started attracting many customers.

7. Mubi Cattle Market, Adamawa State

Mubi is the home of the state famous international cattle market, popularly known as Kasuwan Shanu or Kasuwan Tike situated at the center of the town. Large numbers of cattle and sheep are bought by customers mainly from North-Eastern Nigeria and are distributed to different parts of Southern Nigeria by trailers and trucks.

In general, Mubi is a commercial town owing to its location on the border, many individuals from Nigeria and neighboring countries like Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Central Africa come to make purchases in the cattle market of Mubi. Although the specific day for their cattle market isn’t known, they do trade cattle here, and these cattle are quite cheap and good for consumption.

8. Lafia Cattle Market, Nasarawa State

This cattle market is rated one of the top 10 cattle markets in Northern Nigeria and West Africa. This market is one of, if not the major, cattle market in Nasarawa State. The market is located at Shinge, about 3km from Lafia City.

It was gathered that this market has existed for decades. It is believed that in West Africa, this prestigious cattle market is one of the places where buying and selling the best cattle breeds are carried out.

No fewer than 60 truckloads of cattle arrive and leave the town every market day. It was observed that individuals leave their houses every Sunday and Thursday to participate in livestock and cattle farming.

9. Jos Cattle Market, Plateau State

The cattle market in Jos has existed since 1910 when the Fulani initiated. The Fulani first settled in Jos Plateau around the year 1910, which I believe is why it is referred to as the top 10 cattle market in Northern Nigeria.

Plateau State is known for its high mountains and pastoral land, making it home to many cattle. Surprisingly, it was said that if you want to find one of the best and healthy cattle in Nigeria and West Africa at large, Jos should be on your list.

Jos Plateau is an important cattle-producing area in Nigeria, with a high concentration of pastoral Fulani. Although there have been agricultural and socio-economic changes in this state, it still strives and succeeds in being one of the top 10 cattle markets in northern Nigeria.

Now that you have learned these top 10 cattle markets in Northern Nigeria, you should know some tips on buying meat or cattle from any market.

Cattle prices don’t depend on the animal’s size; rather, it depends on the breed. Prices range from 80-320 thousand naira per bull. For a better understanding of the cattle price, here are the price ranges in 2021 and 2022…

Price Range of Cows In Nigeria (2021)

  • Small cows: 80-100 thousand naira.
  • Medium size cow (150-200kg): 150-220 thousand naira.
  • Big size cow (220kg-250kg): 230-300 thousand naira.
  • Very large cow (300kg-350kg): 300- 450 thousand naira.
  • Giant sized cow (400kg-550kg): 500-700 thousand naira.

Price Range of Cows In Nigeria (2022)

  • Small-sized cow: 85-120 thousand naira.
  • Medium sized cow(150kg-200kg): 150-250 thousand naira.
  • Big sized cow (220kg-250kg): 250-300 thousand naira.
  • Very large cow (300kg-350kg): 350-500 thousand naira.
  • Giant sized cow (400kg-550kg): 500-800 thousand naira.

After you have seen the price range, I’m certain you may wonder how much you can start within this business or where you can get cheap cattle, as it is also one of the best ways to get side income while working full-time in northern Nigeria.

Well, if you are looking to start this business, you can start with a minimum of 1 million, that is, if you want to buy the small ones and nurture them. But if you want to start immediately, then 10 million isn’t too much. Here are some cheap markets to purchase cattle…

  1. Wudil Cattle market.
  2. Potiskum cattle market.
  3. Sheme cattle market.
  4. Zango cattle market.

These 4 cattle markets are one of the cheapest places to purchase cattle nationally and internationally.

You should also note that although the Potiskum cattle market is one of the cheapest markets when it comes to cattle, it is also the largest cattle market in Northern Nigeria and West Africa.

As I said earlier, it is large, and merchants from all over Nigeria and neighboring countries participate in this business.

Conclusion

There are a lot of cattle markets around Sub-Saharan Africa; surprisingly, at least 5 of these cattle markets come from Northern Nigeria. You can start a cattle market with this information.

The cattle market is a very lucrative business; to a certain level, it is a source of livelihood for Northern Nigerians.

FAQs

Which cattle market is the largest in Nigeria and West Africa?

The largest cattle market in West Africa and Nigeria is the Potiskum cattle market in Yobe State.

Are there other cattle markets in Northern Nigeria?

Yes, there are other cattle markets in Northern Nigeria. Cattle markets like Iware cattle market in Taraba State, Makurdi Cattle market in Benue State… These are cattle markets in Northern Nigeria and even more.

Is the cattle market a good business?

Yes, it is a good business, a very lucrative business at that. You do not need to start with a whole cattle, 20 thousand naira can get you started.

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