…calls for more Mik collation centres, off-takers
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Tuesday, boasted of having enough cows and pastoralists to meet milk demand in the country.
This was stated by the National Secretary, MACBAN, Othman Ngelzarma, at a press briefing while reacting on how to curtail incessant farmers-herdsmen conflicts across the country.
According to Ngelzarma there are over 70 million cows, which a cow produces three litres of milk daily, which is enough to meet milk demand of Nigerians if properly coordinated and collated.
He said: “If we can have a lot of milk collation centres established around the country with processors that will be off-taking the milk being processed by our members, at least this will boost milk production.
“If we can collate milk effectively, it will be needless for the Federal Government to spend money on importation of milk.”
The MACBAN scribe, however, lamented that the country grossly lacks local processors that off-takes the product from their members including inadequate collation centres.
“There has not been any effort to establish more collation centres where our members can be offloading their milk for sale and this has made them resort to local processing and selling locally at much lower prices
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“We urge the Federal Government to provide a conducive environment and also make it attractive including capacity building for more local processors of milk within the country to come into the industry in order to boost milk production.”
He further stated that “I call on the Federal Government to invite more local processors to come up with processing plants that can off-take the milk being produced by pastoralists in the country.”
Meanwhile, he said if the livestock subsector is given proper attention the education of their children would not be a challenge, which according to him L and Z Yoghurt Company in Kano, Kano State has achieved and for the benefit of pastoralists, especially for their members with collation centres being established to off-take milk products, which has gone a long way to control and reduce nomadic movements.
“When I visited L and Z milk collation centres, at about 5 a.m. in the morning, I saw how these pastoralists came 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 have made a lot of our members sedentary, they no longer move from place to place. The company added N20 to the litres of those families that enrolled their children in school, such that instead of buying a litre at the rate of N120, they pay N140. So, all the pastoralists living within the area where L and Z centres are located have enrolled their children in school.
“During the rainy season the pastoralists move their cows into the forest but still remain settled in one place, and they bring their cows back during the dry season”, he said.
However, he cautioned that hunger for beef offers both rewards and risks for Nigeria’s pastoralists.