As part of efforts to increase yield and end incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers, the Federal Government will soon organise herdsmen into ranches.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, disclosed this on Tuesday when President Muhammadu Buhari hosted the Global Chief Executive Officer of Friesland Campina, The Netherlands, Mr. Roelf Joosten, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted the minister as also saying that the animals would be fed with special grasses and water inside the ranches.
“The minister promised that herdsmen would soon be organised into ranches in the country, with special grasses and water, which will give better yield, and make the animals healthier.
“He also disclosed that special flasks, which can preserve raw milk for up to six hours, would soon be made available, enabling cattle farmers to get the product to dairies in good quality,” the statement said.
The President was said to have decried the culture of waste foisted on the country, due to lack of means of preservation of agricultural products.
He lamented the situation in which cattle farmers throw away milk from their animals, because there is no means of preserving and processing the product.
“We have failed to develop our assets on a permanent basis. This, we are determined to work on,” the President promised.
Buhari urged Friesland Campina, in its collaboration with Nigeria, to educate cattle farmers that “quality matters more than quantity,” and help them organise into cooperatives for better business.
Joosten told the President that the firm is a cooperative owned by 19,000 farmers, and is 145 years old, adding that it began business in Nigeria in 1973 as Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria.
He said the company wanted to partner with the Federal Government to build a healthier populace through better nutrition, collaborate in the school feeding programme, and promote dairy development in the country. It has also been providing nutrition support for internally displaced persons in the North-East.
Also on the delegation of the Global CEO was the Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr. Rahul Colaco.