Waste of agricultural produce worries Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday lamented the culture of waste in the country due to lack of means of preservation of agricultural products.

Receiving the Global Chief Executive Officer of Friesland Campina, The Netherlands, Mr Roelf Joosten, at State House, Abuja, he observed that a situation in which cattle farmers throw away milk from their animals, because there is no means of preserving and processing the product was not not desirable.

“We have failed to develop our assets on a permanent basis. This, we are determined to work on,” the President promised.

He urged Friesland Campina, in its collaboration with Nigeria, to educate cattle farmers that “quality matters more than quantity,” and help them organise into cooperatives for better business.

Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who was also at the event, promised that herdsmen would soon be organised into ranches in the country, with special grasses and water, which will give better yield, and make the animals healthier.

He also disclosed that special flasks, which can preserve raw milk for up to six hours, would soon be made available, enabling cattle farmers to get the product to dairies in good quality.

Mr Joosten disclosed that Friesland Campina is a cooperative owned by 19,000 farmers, and is 145 years old. It began business in Nigeria in 1973 as Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria.

The company wants to partner with the Federal Government to build a healthier populace through better nutrition, collaborate in the school feeding programme, and promote dairy development in the country.

It has also been providing nutrition support for internally displaced persons in the North-East.

Also on the delegation of the Global CEO was the Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr Rahul Colaco.