NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has appointed Cownexxion, an international dairy farming consultant to kick-start the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
According to Klaas StruiksmaView Klaas Struiksma, CEO Cownexxion the focus of the 3-year project will be on feed production, development of knowledge and skills and the transformation of management in a bid to curb herd conflicts in the country.
It will first be undertaken in the states of Nasarawa, Plateau, Gombe and Adamawa, with pilot farms established in each of the locations. The farms will act as a training centre for farmers and extension workers.
Cownexxion will work together with the Nigerian Federal and State teams, led by Dr. Andrew Kwasari.
“The NLTP, already adopted by 10 states, has six pillars that covers anything around justice, security, livelihood, peace, reconciliation and economic development. It will develop dairy farms in a period of 10 years,” indicated Klaas on a LinkedIn post.
The Dutch Agricultural industry is involved through an Impact Cluster supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
Members of the consortium are; Cownexxion, Aeres Group, Agriterra Dairy Delta Academy, Scherjon Dairy Equipment, Barenbrug South Africa, Dutch Sustainable Energy Group, and Queens Company.
Meanwhile, a Nigerian firm, Rabelat Limited has partnered with Instituto Daniel Franco, a Brazilian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to set up a centre for animal husbandry in Kwara State.
The collaboration is aimed to serve the same purpose as that of the NLTP of resolving herdsmen and farmers clashes in parts of the country.
The centre, which is expected to have an abattoir, international cattle market and entrepreneurial training institution, will create 50,000 jobs for youth and others in the country, reports The Punch.
The Chief Executive Officer of Rabelat Nigeria Limited, Dr Ahmed Raji, who disclosed this after a meeting with the delegation from Instituto Daniel Franco in Ilorin, said the foundation for the project had already been laid on 40-hectares of land in Bode-Saadu, Moro Local Government area of Kwara State.
He added that another 600 hectares of land had been acquired in Yashikira, Baruten Local Government Area for planting of grasses for animal consumption.
Raji said the project will leverage on Brazil instituto’s expertise owing to its successes in agribusiness over a century.
He stated that the partnership with the institute would lead to technology transfer in areas of animal rearing, processing and packaging for export.
The centre will also feature a transit hub through which animals would be provided water and feeds as well as medical care with their owners accommodated and given a place to rest while they were in transit.
To facilitate trade with the international market, the centre would be doing virtual marketing, show casing the cows on sale, its price and details of the owner.
According to recent estimates by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria’s national herd comprises 18.4 million cattle, 43.4 million sheep, 76 million goats and 180 million poultry.
The majority of animals are raised in extensive production systems comprising smallholders and nomadic herders.
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