Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said an initiative on dairy farming being championed by the Kingdom of Denmark and Kaduna State Government would go a long way in curbing clashes between cattle herders and farmers in Nigeria.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president made the comment while receiving Denmark’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Torben Gettermann, in a farewell audience at the State House.
According to him, the president noted that the establishment of dairy farms, as being promoted by the Kingdom of Denmark, “will save the country from the almost perennial problem of clashes between herders and farmers, made worse by population explosion.”
He also said Buhari observed that when the dairy farms are “economically viable, the cattle herders will see the need to stay in one place, as they will realise that productive considerations, rather than the number of heads of cattle, are more important.”
Adesina said Gettermann, while explaining the concept of dairy farming further, said the plan was to have 1,000 families of herdsmen with 12,000 heads of cattle in a location, where they will have veterinary attention, schools for their children, and generally live as a small community, adding that a Danish company, Arla, will then buy the milk off the cattle farmers.
Furthermore, he said the Danish government would bring investors through its Agriculture Counsellor in the country, while the Kaduna State Government would provide initial infrastructure and funding.
“Dairy farming is not exactly the same thing as ranching. It will yield better meat, and the Danish company will buy the milk from the farmers. A pilot project will start in Kaduna, and then move to other locations, as it becomes commercially viable,” he quoted the ambassador as saying.
Adesina disclosed that after spending four years in Nigeria and 40 years in the service of his country, Gettermann is proceeding on retirement.