Federal Govt. targets 1.6bn liters of milk per annum

Federal Govt. targets 1.6bn liters of milk per annum

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it was targeting 1.6 billion liters of milk per annum for self-sufficiency in livestock products and animal protein needs.


The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this on Tuesday; while inaugurating the National Pasture Development Programme (NAPDEP), in Paikon Kore grazing reserve, FCT.


Abubakar said the renewed focus on the livestock sector by the federal government; especially in pasture development played an important role in providing an economical source of ruminant livestock feed; as well as improved productivity for food and human security.






”It is worth noting that more than 95 per cent of Nigeria′s ruminant production is primarily managed under the traditional pastoral system.”



He said it was a characteristic of extensive system where naturally grown pastures were the main source of nutrition for the animals.



”Therefore, herders and husbanders rely on mobility in search of feeds, water, and friendly grazing areas.




It also affected livestock products and animal protein needs, especially our national target of 1.6 billion liters of milk per annum.”



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”Our current ranking by FAO is 15th in the world in cattle; fifth in sheep and third in goat, and 17th in camel farming.



 ”The continuous extensive system of production is not a viable option since the land area for grazing and feed availability are severely limiting factors in the high livestock producing zones of Nigeria.



“It is therefore very necessary and top priority that all players in the industry focus on meeting the huge demand for pasture.



”This will give a great opportunity to unlock the potential of the livestock Industry and the development of its rich value chains,” he said.


He urged partners within the industry, especially researchers, academia, sub-national governments, international development partners and private sector, to embrace the National Pasture Development Programme(NAPDEP).





“However, the partners should also take active participation in the value chain (production, processing, and marketing) for sustainable and improved ruminant animal production in Nigeria,” he said.



According to him, it will serve as panacea for reduction in conflict emanating from cattle movement, attainment of self-sufficiency in good quality pasture/forage production, and the transition from extensive grazing to a well-planned, settled form of livestock production.



” Thus, NAPDEP will focus on forage species that are cultivated for livestock feed that are carefully selected based on adaptation to ecological areas as animal feed.”


About The Author

Chuks Ofurum is a staff of 1ST NEWS. He writes the weekly column "The Mouthpiece". [email protected]

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