No fewer than 2,778 herdsmen and their wives have benefited from the distribution of domestic animals by the Kebbi State government.
The items given to them were sheep, goats and chickens under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme Aids in the state.
The opening ceremony was performed by the wife of Kebbi State governor, Aisha Bagudu, during the inauguration at Fulani Ruga in Maiyama Local Government Area of the state at the weekend.
Speaking at the ceremony, the State Commissioner for Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries, Alhaji Aminu Dandigga, explained that the government was committed to diversifying the economy and increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
“This programme is in partnership with Mass Literacy Programme and Almajiri Initiative (MALPAI) Foundation and the 2,778 beneficiaries of the state government under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme Aids (livestock component),” he added.
He added that they had seven selected livestock value chains production enterprises, which were sheep and goat multiplications, local chicken upgrading, homemade yoghurt for Fulani women and milk collection scheme, commercial pasture production and modern beekeeping.
“Beneficiaries of sheep will be given four sheep heads and one ram each; and four goats and one he-goat for each participant. Five local breeds of chickens and their feeds will be given to each beneficiary, among other items.
“About 10 milk collectors have been provided with motorcycles and milk cans to collect and transport the fresh milk to Livestock Investigation and Breeding Centre at Bulasa, in Birnin Kebbi LGA, for processing,” he said.
Dandiga said the government was constructing a yoghurt factory at Bulasa, adding that if completed, it would generate 1,000 litres of milk daily.
“It is also expected to generate N1.6 billion every year,” he said.
He added that 500 beneficiaries would be empowered with animal feeds and N40,000 each.
“The repayment will be done with two litres of milk through the milk collectors who were earlier provided with motorcycles by the state government. We have 17 rooms whereby each is provided with two solar freezers to store the unsold milk,” he said.
In her remarks, Aisha Bagudu said the herdsmen’s wives were trained how to produce local yoghurt, and they were expected to impart the knowledge to others in their settlements.
“We want to make the roaming around of herdsmen’s wives and daughters sedentary; and we want their customers to be meeting them in their settlements in order to buy their products, not necessarily taking them to markets.
“This is just like ranching system the Federal Government is trying to establish, and that is what the governor is trying to do,” she said.
Earlier, the chairman of Maiyama Local Government, Alhaji Zayyanu Bello, commended the wife of the governor for her passion and efforts to better the lives of pastoralist communities in the state.
“We also commend Governor Bagudu for his agricultural drive and efforts to ensure that 2,500 hectares of land are cultivated here in Maiyama to diversify our economy,” he said.
Bello urged the beneficiaries to utilise the gesture so as to increase their economic status and better the lives of their families.