By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project is investing heavily in local milk production and processing to fast track the development of indigenous dairy industry for economic development.
The State Project Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad said the decision was predicated on the fact that continued importation of processed milk and milk products to Nigeria was economically harmful to the nation.
Nigeria spends between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion on milk and other dairy products importation annually, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Malam Ibrahim Garba, who made the assertion while receiving the State Coordinator, Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria, RMRDC, Malam Hambali Muhammad at the project office in Kano.
“The gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening in Nigeria. Yet we have the potential to produce enough milk that will serve our population and even export to other countries, if we invest appropriately”.
“So under this project, we are approaching the issue from different angles. We are constructing 200 milk collection centers to supply the high quality, safe and adequate raw milk required by dairy processing firms and indeed, the general public”.
“Similarly, we will train the herdsmen and milk vendors on hygiene and best practices on milk production and processing, to add value to their products”.
“We are also engaging in large and community scale fodder production that will help our herdsmen to settle down and not to migrate seasonally in search of pasture”.
Another area of focus of the project, according to Malam Ibrahim, is insemination of cows and small ruminants fattening, to improve the quality and quantity of milk, meat and even leather produced in the state.
He said the project was keen to gain from the expertise of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria, RMRDC, in the establishment of milk collection centers as well as in the areas of meat and leather development.
On his part, the State Coordinator, Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria, RMRDC, Malam Hambali Muhammad explained that the visit was to explore areas of mutual cooperation with the project for common good of the citizenry.
“Our organization is charged with the mandate to promote the development and utilization of Nigeria’s industrial raw materials. We want to see how we can work together to help the project to grow.”
He urged the project to avail itself of the agricultural research findings of his organization, to achieve is vision and mission.
Ameen K. Yassar
Project Communication Specialist
4th August, 2020