The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), yesterday said that Nigeria had more than enough cows and pastoralists to meet Nigeria’s milk requirements.
General secretary, MACBAN, Alhaji Othman Ngelzarma, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the major challenge in milk production in the country was inadequate milk processors and collation centres to uptake pastoralists’ production locally.
The general secretary specifically noted that the country currently had over 70 million cows, adding that three litres output of milk per cow daily was enough to meet the nation’s milk requirement, if collated effectively.
He said: “If we can collate milk effectively, it will be needless for the federal government to spend money on importation of milk.
“The problem is that there is not enough local processors to uptake the pastoralists’ production.’’
Ngelzarma noted that due to the inadequate milk processors locally and collation centres across the country, pastoralists ended up conveying their milk in calabash for sale at low cost thereby leading to wastage.
He, however, urged the federal government to encourage more local processors of milk within the country and improve their capacity in order to boost milk production and reduce wastage.
According to MACBAN scribe, federal government should encourage members of the association to boost productivity of cows’ milk in the country.
“There has not been any effort to establish more collation centres where our members can be offloading their milk for sale, this has made them resort to local processing and selling locally at much lower prices.
“However, if we can have a lot of milk collation centres established around the country with processors that will uptake the milk being processed by our members, at least this will boost milk production,’’ he stressed.
Ngelzarma emphasised that such measures would also encourage the pastoralists to live sedentary lives rather than moving from one place to the other and encourage them to educate their children.
“I call on the federal government to invite more local processors to come up with processing plants that can uptake the milk being produced by pastoralists in the country.
“If we can get more uptakers, there will be no need for the country to spend money on milk importation.’’
The general secretary cited L and Z Yoghurt Company in Kano as an example of a collation centre that had helped to stop nomadic movement of pastoralists.
“When I visited L and Z milk collation centres at about 5 a.m. in the morning, I saw how these pastoralists come with their milk in the morning to the factory vehicle, where the milk is tested and emptied into the company’s can.
“The L and Z Company has made a lot of our members sedentary, they no longer move from place to place.
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