Lady Ranchers, a group of women from different professional backgrounds have concluded on how to transform the way the livestock sector and its value chain will be handled henceforth in the country.
Aderoju Odunsi, President of the Lady Ranchers (Ikeja) Cooperative Multipurpose Society Limited gave the indication while speaking at the inauguration of the Cooperative Society in Lagos.
She said the initiative started last year when the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the livestock transformation agenda.
Odunsi stated that Nigerians should look out for better nutrition through livestock; cattle and goats, and that as far as beef is concerned that the Lady Ranchers are determined to hygienically produce natural meat, processed meat for local consumption.
With what the group is planning to do, Odunsi noted that it would reduce importation of processed meat from other countries and as a result save the country hard earned foreign exchange.
She added that the group intends to set up ranches, grow grass for the animals that would be in the ranches and also grow grass as fodder that would be sold to others in the business.
According to her, “We intend to start with goats and then include the cattle. We will be using technology, artificial insemination and we are going to be growing grass in a in such a way that is hitherto not known in Nigeria, but it is technologically based,” she added.
Speaking on how the idea came about, she said when the agenda was inaugurated last year it generated a lot of debate which according to her and other women saw it as an opportunity to tap into the livestock sector in other to boost the country’s economy and also benefit them as business minded people.
“When this came up, it generated a lot of debate where people were talking about herdsmen and all the issues surrounding the livestock sector and we as business minded people decided to study the document and look at how it can benefit us as business people, so we decided to form a group and form a cooperative that was how it started,” she added.
“Our membership consists of people with experience both in agriculture, other businesses and professions such as law, banking among others.
The event was fully supported by the leadership of Lagos State Ministry of Industry Commerce and Cooperative.
The leadership of the ministry advised them on how the society will be run, while calling on them to uphold the tenets and laws of the cooperative.
He said the group has taken the right decision by forming a cooperative and also tapping into the federal government’s decision to stop importation of what can be produced in the country.
“If you have started and not do a cooperative there might be a limit to what you can do, but with this, you can do a lot. The edge that you have is registering yourself as a cooperative, it will assist you financially and because you are in a group it will make it easy for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions to deal with you,” he added.