The Federal Government has disclosed that its target for milk production is 1.6 billion litres per annum to achieve self-sufficiency in livestock products and animal protein needs.
This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Tuesday while unveiling the National Pasture Development Programme (NAPDEP), in Paikon Kore grazing reserve, in Abuja.
The minister stated that currently, 95% of Nigeria′s ruminant production is primarily managed under the traditional pastoral system, according to NAN.
What the minister is saying
Speaking at the inauguration of the programme, Abubakar said, ”It is worth noting that more than 95% of Nigeria′s ruminant production is primarily managed under the traditional pastoral system,” citing that it was a characteristic of extensive system where naturally grown pastures were the main source of nutrition for the animals.
He said, ”Therefore, herders and husbanders rely on mobility in search of feeds, water, and friendly grazing areas.
”The result of this continuous movement in search of pasture has adversely affected the animals’ attainment of their optimal productivity and consistently impaired our national capacity for self-sufficiency
“It also affected livestock products and animal protein needs, especially our national target of 1.6 billion liters of milk per annum.”
Abubakar stated that Nigeria’s 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 the private sector, to embrace the National Pasture Development Programme (NAPDEP).
He added it will also reduce 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.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported last year that the federal government announced the launch of a pilot project of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP)
- They added that the NLTP would reduce the need for open grazing as it ensures herders stay in one location with government support, stating that they are optimistic the scheme would reduce attacks on farmers by herders.
- Nigeria’s agriculture sector grew by 3.16% (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 0.42% points from the preceding quarter which recorded a growth rate of 3.58%.