Selected farmers from communities in Plateau State have been trained in commercial dairy farming and an effective livestock plan to boost local and fresh milk production and develop the dairy sector in general.
The two-day course titled “Dairy Business Development and Training Program 2022” was organized by Integrated Dairies Limited (IDL) in conjunction with the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN) and with support/funding from the Australian Government.
Training activities include setting up a profitable dairy business, animal feed production, animal husbandry and health management (crossbreeding analysis, etc.), livestock health management and management of dairy farm records and operations.
In his welcome address at the opening ceremony, CODARAN Chairman, Alhaji MD Abubakar said that the Dairy Enterprise Development and Training Program is a project designed and designed to accelerate the job creation process. in milk production and, more importantly, to increase the volume of milk available for local collection.
Represented by CODARAN Executive Director, Dianabasi Akpainyang, the President said the first round of the initiative was held in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State in December 2021, and the program in the Plateau State is the second in the series.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) estimated that $1.5 billion was spent on milk imports in 2020 to cover the huge milk production shortfall in the country. With population growth comes the possibility of increased demand for milk and dairy products. Population growth between 2020 and 2022 could create higher demand for imported milk and dairy products and, by extension, foreign currency.
“The time has indeed come to develop the local dairy sector through strategic and impactful actions so that a large part of the demand for milk and dairy products is met locally and that the demand for foreign exchange for the import of milk is reduced and eventually eliminated.
“The Dairy Enterprise Training and Development Program is another program that exemplifies the association’s unwavering commitment to developing the dairy sector by supporting new entrants into the dairy business and building the capacity of smallholder dairy farmers. The program in Plateau State is the second in the series.
“We note with commendation that Plateau State is one of the early pioneer states in the adoption and implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. The progress made in dairy development in particular and in agriculture in general justifies our choice of Plateau State for the second phase of this programme,” he said.
In his address, the Founder of Integrated Dairies Limited, Air Vice Marshal Ishaya Aboi Shekairi (Rtd) said Plateau State has a conducive environment for animal husbandry and dairy farming .
He said that you don’t need a herd of cows to make milk, and that with four or five good cows, each producing between 18 and 20 liters of milk a day, you are already in the milk.
Shekairi said a key aspect of the training is how to get a cow to produce between 18 and 20 liters of milk per day, as ordinarily a local cow can only produce a maximum of two liters of milk. per day.