The Livestock Improvement Programme (LIP) was created in 1976 as one of the six Research Programmes of the Institute. The Programme is saddled with the mandate of developing efficient management systems for livestock that are adapted to Southern agro-ecologies. The Programme has not deviated from this mandate through its demand driven research and agricultural manpower development activities. These activities are carried out through:
(1) Genetic improvement of the indigenous breeds of livestock in the country.
(2) Development of cost-effective feeding, housing and management techniques for improved productivity and
(3) Ethno-veterinary health management in livestock production.
The Livestock Improvement Programme is endowed with seasoned research and technical staff across different fields (Animal Nutrition, Animal Production Systems, Veterinary Medicine, Animal Physiology, Animal Breeding and Genetics and Agricultural Economics). This in addition to facilities for research and production across livestock enterprises such as poultry (broilers, layers, cockerels, and Muscovy ducks), piggery, ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats), and micro livestock (rabbits, grasscutter and snails). The programme is also into pasture management with attention placed on production of pasture legume seeds and consultancy to livestock farms of different scales for the attainment of sustainable growth of the livestock industry and food security. The numerous challenges facing livestock production in Nigeria are the high cost of feed ingredients which accounts for over 70% of the cost of livestock production, in-breeding of animal species, poor quality foundation stocks, pest infestation and disease outbreak and poor quality pastures are forages. Proffering solutions to these challenges and building capacities in this respects are the primary goals of the Programme’s activities.