A kano State based agriculture body, Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project, has disclosed that plans are being concluded to construct 200 collection centers for local milk production across the state in boosting local productions and rejuvenate its economy.
The body explained that the collection centers were being considered in line with its commitment to invest in local milk production and processing, a move, it claimed would fast track development of indigenous dairy industry for economic development.
As stated, the investment in a vibrant indigenous dairy industry would curb importation of processed milk and milk products into the country and end its harmful impact on the nation’s economy.
The State Project Coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammad, said that with adequate funding and proper management the country has what it takes to be self sufficient in diary productions and potential for exportation.
Quoting the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammad said that Nigeria spends between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion on milk and other dairy products importation annually.
The Coordinator, spoke when he received the State Coordinator, Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria (RMRDC) Hambali Muhammad, at the project office in Kano, according to a statement by the Project Communication Specialist, Ameen Yassar.
He regretted that despite the country’s potential to produce enough milk that would the nation’s population and export to other countries, the gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening in Nigeria.
“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, Hambali Muhammad explained that the visit was to explore areas of mutual cooperation with the project for the 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 its vision and mission.