The Federal Government, on Thursday commenced the distribution of critical livestock inputs to 1, 741 farmers to promote the production of dairy products in Kaduna State.
The inputs, which include supplementary feed and salt licks, were provided under the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said in a message to the flag off of the programme that it was meant to “improve milk production, productivity and income to farmers”.
Adesina, who was represented by Alhaji Tijjani Ishaku, the Director, ATA in the state, said the Dairy Value Chain programme, was to support farmers with subsidised inputs to transform the dairy industry.
He said that the aim was also to encourage the registration of dairy clusters to facilitate establishment of milk processing firms in the state.
The minister disclosed that about 1,741 dairy farmers had been registered in the state, adding that each farmer would receive five bags of 50 kilogrammes of feed supplement and one block of salt lick at 50 per cent discount.
Adesina stressed the resolve of the federal government to transform the agriculture sector by empowering farmers to adopt best farming methods.
He appreciated the pioneering efforts of Milk Cooperative Society in the state, saying it had added value to the milk industry.
In his address, Gov. Mukhtar Yero, represented by the State Director of Veterinary Services, Mr Andrew Bahago commended the effort of the federal government in introducing the diary value chain programme.
Yero expressed sadness that about 95 percent of milk in the Nigerian market was imported, in spite of the abundance of livestock in the country.
He pledged to provide more funding for livestock production, noting that, “if properly rehabilitated its would encourage more investors to partner with the state government”.
Responding, the state Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Ahmadu Sulaiman, thanked the federal government for initiating the programme.
He advised dairy farmers to form cooperatives so as to benefit from more government programmes.