By Abubakar Baba Ahmad
Government and Individuals have been challenged to establish Bulk Milk Collection Centres and Dairy Processing Plants nation-wide as a panacea to farmers/herders clash and develop the diary industry to achieve food security.
To this end, a six pillar development plan for the Nigerian dairy industry has been mapped out to make it more productive and effective.
A Professor of Animal Production with Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Ambrose Alikidon Voh disclosed this while delivering a paper at a public lecture organised by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU Bauchi.
The paper titled Inventorization and Characterization of the Nigerian Diary Industry, Professor Ambrose Voh said Nigeria is currently not among the top ten diary producing countries in Africa, hence the need for a rethink.
Professor Voh who identified the development of a sustainable feeds and feeding programme, execution of Dairy Breeding strategies and developing an optimum dairy cattle reproduction programme among the six development pillars, called for continued awareness and sensitization on the potentials in diary industry.
“The need to develop our Diary industry because we cannot continue spending that kind of money importing milk and milk products, annually we spend one point four billion US dollars to import milk and milk products and that we have upto twenty million heard of Cattle is incomprehensible” he disclosed.
He advised state governments especially in the north to embrace the grazing reserve policy to reduce farmers herders conflict and transit into an intensive system of livestock production.
“They are called grazing reserve because they have been reserved by legislation for grazing, so they should be made available for the purpose of which they have been set aside, I think if there are such governors that are refusing to make available grazing reserves for the purposes of development- they are getting it wrong and these are the kinds of people we need to reach out to forbthem to understand in the first place what where these grazing reserves set out for” he argued.
According to the Professor of Animal Food Production, strong political will, consistency in policies, inclusion of critical stakeholders, as well as strict monitoring and evaluation would help in repositioning the sub sector.
Professor Ambrose Voh used the forum to appeal to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU to use its TETFUND Centre of excellence on Food security in driving the process of funding for the development of the Nigerian Diary Industry.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Occasion and Vice Chancellor ATBU Professor Muhammadu Ahmad Abdulazeez said public lecture series are part of activities of the academia that connects the University community and the public through knowledge sharing.
” The thing is that initially it was supposed to be only for consumption of the management, but we felt that this is trying to help the whole country and it will go a long way in terms of the diary needs” he concurred.
Professor Muhammadu Abdulazeez who read the citation of the Guest Speaker, said the Veterinarian is at the institution for a one year sabbatical and called on people to embrace the opportunity and tap from his experience.
In a vote of thanks the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics Professor Ibrahim Muhammad expressed gratitude to the management of ATBU for its effort towards the success of the event and the guest lecturer for his worthy contribution to the development of the diary industry.