Kaduna State Government is determined to help farmers improve their incomes and enhance food security.
|•CEO, Vicampro Potatoes, Michael Agbogo and Maigan after the forum.|
The government is committed to addressing challenges of milk production and marketing, so that more farmers can benefit from the growing dairy sector.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Manzo Maigan, said this during the Business of Agriculture Conference on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Maigan said the government would promote good farming practices and train farmers on a variety of improved methods.
As part of its strategy, the commissioner said the government was seeking to promote agribusiness partnerships to tackle low farm productivity and limited market access peding the development of the sector.
Maigan said: “The most important thing is to create an enterprise in agriculture. Then, it must be profitable by making sure farmers produce at low cost and make profit. All the while, we have not been able to do that because we have not standardised farm practice. That explains why our produce falls short of global standards.”
Maigan said the government was determined to support livestock keepers to increase productivity and counter escalating costs and marketing problems.
He said: ”They have to be taught that it is not the number of animals that they keep but their productivity; if one has 100 cows that translate to 1.5 litres of milk per day, they can get a cow that gives them 30 litres or as much as 50 litres per day per cow. Even if the productivity is increased by 8.5 litres to 10 litres, management becomes easy even with as less as 10 cows. Lesser grass is grown. Like in Kaduna, we were able to bring in nutritious grass from Brazil, and within six weeks, milk output has increased from 1.5 to 3.5 litres per day.
“We are also looking at artificial insemination, whereby we will bring the semen of improved cows and inseminate them with local cows to produce hybrid,” he added.
He said the state was encouraging commercial pasture development to grow grass for sale, adding that grass was big business, as some countries export grass.