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Over-trekking reduces cow milk production – Audu Ogbeh

Valentine Chinyem

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THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has said exposing domestic cattle to long treks, affects their milk production.

The minister who said this while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, also added that lack of food and water also affect the health of cattle and how much milk it can produce.

“To deal with the question of cattle, which represents 7% of GDP, and yet a cow walks from Adamawa to Lagos and losses 40% of its weight.

“The Nigerian cow gives you one beer bottle of milk per day and cows in Europe are producing 40 litres.

“The reason is simple: our cows walk too much. They don’t have water to drink and proper grass to eat. It is not just any kind of grass,” the minister explained.

He noted that, due to lack of storage facilities, tranportation and good linked roads, most famers lose their produce.

“We lose a lot of what we grow to post-harvest catastrophes like lack of storage, transportation and village roads, [which are] simply not maintained because the local government system has collapsed.

“So farmers can’t even move their crops to centres where they will sell them.

“We have things in demand in Europe, but we haven’t yet arrived at standards demanded by our buyers, even the packaging and the processing for us to be able to hit the European market and do what others are doing like Kenya in East Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana with pineapples and all kinds of crops they export.

“So agriculture will remain at 22 or 25% for a while until we intensify irrigation and production,” the minister concluded.