Maigatari International Cattle Market is one of the biggest cattle markets in the northern part of the country, because it supplies over 2 million stocks of cattle for trading during its weekly market day. The ever-busy Maigatari border cattle market in Maigatari Local Government Area of Jigawa state is approximately not more than 200 meters square in size. The market gets its supply from within Nigeria and the neighbouring Niger republic, with stock thrice the capacity of the market start arriving two days ahead the market day.
The hustle and bustle of the cattle market may not be unconnected to its border location, which makes it possible to have all types of cattle breeds, hence the trooping of buyers from across the country and Niger republic. The unique feature of the market is the international status it is assuming by the day, because apart from playing host to local cattle buyers that usually come from across the country; international buyers come from Niger republic.
Maigatari cattle market supplies the southern part of the country about 100 trailers of cattle on weekly basis. The cattle market usually get its supply locally from Nguru, Garin Alkali and Babban Gida in Yobe state, Danbatta in Kano state as well as from Mai-Adua in Kasina state, while Niger republic supplies from the towns of Dangas and Magayi.
Majority of Nigerien cattle dealers supply cattle to the market, and after disposing their stock, they buy the Nigerian breed of female cattle, which they use for cross-fertilization with their local breed. About 250 other category of trucks are also used in transporting cattle purchased by butchers for local consumption in some of the northern states. However, majority of such butchers are from neighboring Kano, Kaduna and Katsina states.
The chairman of Maigatari Market Cattle Dealers Association, Adamu Sallau Fulata, said business transactions of over half a billion naira take place every Thursday at the cattle market, as every single cow, irrespective of size has the potential of being bought and sold. He pointed out that the uniqueness of business transactions in the cattle market could be noticed in the fact that in just a market day, a single cow could go through a business transaction three to four times by the means of selling and buying.
Fulata explained that Maigatari Cattle market accommodates both the big and small buyers, as there are cattle of various sizes, depending on one’s purchasing power. He said there are those that are sold for as low as N30,000, while a well fed bull would cost as much as N500,000. He stressed that every Thursday about 100 trailers, each carrying 34 cattle leave Maigatari Cattle market for big cities like Lagos and Enugu, while about 250 trucks with each carrying 14 cows also supply some parts of the north.
“The market has since assumed international standard as business men from Niger republic patronize the market. They bring in cows for sale and in return buy for supplying their country. Nigeriens buy female cows from the market for the purpose of cross breeding. According to them the Nigerian specie are healthier, and therefore give a better breed.