The Federal Government has revealed that Nigerian cattle produce the least milk in world because they spend too much hours wandering in the guise of searching for food.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chef Audu Ogbe said this while reacting to the perennial clash between herdsmen and their host communities.
Audu who said that the government would soon establish grazing zones across the country for cattle to feed noted that Nigeria was the only country in Africa in which cattle roamed about and trekked long distances to feed.
According to him, cattle in Nigeria produce the least milk in the world despite having good breed. “They produce about one litre of milk per day per female cow, this is not good enough. “We are reducing their productivity level by making cattle to trek from Maiduguri to Lagos because too much of exercise affects their productivity. “We have good species of cattle but we still spend N1.3 million to import milk to the country on a daily basis.
Ogbe stated that the Federal Government would grow special grasses in the South to feed the cattle in the North, just as it is being practiced successfully in some parts of the world.
“We need to map out grazing areas fast as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts until cattle owners see the need to adopt other means of rearing their cattle’’, he said.
The minister stated that a lot of activities were ongoing to make agriculture attractive to youths and for them to see it as a business. He said there were ongoing youth programmes at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and urged those interested in agriculture to make use of the opportunity. “We are working tirelessly to return Nigeria to where she was in the 60`s and 70`s by increasing extension services in every local government across the country.’’