Nigeria can meet its desire to be self-sufficient in milk production by embracing ranching not cattle grazing, the Danish Embassy in Nigeria has advised.
Mr. Paul Jacob, Sector Councillor on Foods and Agriculture, while speaking on behalf of the Danish Embassy in Kaduna on Thursday, opined that Nigeria has no problem importing milk product into the country with 21 million cattle if ranching is fully adopted in the country.
Speaking at the Dissemination Workshop on Setting up of Damau Household Milk Farm Cooperative, organized by Milk Value Chain Foundation, Mr Jacob lamented that the country is one of the lowest milk producing countries of the world, despite its 21 million cattle.
He believed that with intensive focus put on improving crop of feeds, weight improvement with focus on milk and proper management on how to bring the factors together, as well as settlement of cattle in one place, the situation can change with Nigeria quadrupling it’s current milk production status.
He explained that Denmark has decided that food and agriculture are key to their engagements in Nigeria and also are trying to ensure that the programmes get working fully here in Nigeria.
“We are trying to ensure transformation in dairy farming, because we feel how can a country have 21 million cattle and still need to import milk products? Something needs to be done and we fully agree to that and we are very much engaged in how to support the transformation, so that the country can be self-sufficient in milk production,” he further explained.
He believed that it is possible in Nigeria looking at the vast arable land, hardworking farmers in the field, saying that they are the two essential factors as there is the need for some transformation, need to focus about how to create business sense and to do proper business.
He noted that cattle is a long-term business, it takes a long term to develop cattle production and takes a long term to improve the breeding, believing that if full efforts are put into it, milk production can be tripled and quadrupled in the country towards enhancing economic growth.
Dr Ishaq Bello, the Chief Executive Officer of Milk Value Chain Foundation, explained that Damau Household Milk Farm Cooperative was set up in Ruwan Sanyi-Damau, Kubau Local Government of Kaduna State, to ensure the sustainable operations of Damau Household Milk Farm, an initiative of Kaduna State Government.