The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has established an animal husbandry farm with cow milking centre on 100 hectares of land in Sokoto.
NALDA is developing a modern animal husbandry farm that would sustain itself and reduce the movement of cows within the area.
Prince Paul Ikonne, the Executive Secretary, NALDA, while speaking with journalists after the inspection of the animal husbandry farm and the poultry feed mill facility, said he was satisfied with the level of work at the facilities.
Ikonne explained that the importance of establishing the modern animal husbandry farm was based on Mr. President’s directive, in line with NALDA’s mandate.
The Animal Husbandry has cow pens with capacity of 500 cows, cow milking parlour with capacity of 200 cows in a set, napier grass on 50 hectares, with the construction of clinics/veterinary sections and a training centre.
The NALDA said that the Authority was committed to achieving food security and development, as he assured that the farm would generate employment, hygienic milk production and cow fattening for meat.
Construction workers were spotted at the 100 hectares farmland at the section of the clinic and training centre building where work was ongoing, while the 500 cow capacity pens and the cow milking parlour have both been completed.
Also seen at the site were those watering the napier grass field using the boreholes provided by NALDA at the farm.
The animal husbandry farm is located at Dabagin-lafia, opposite the Usman Danfodio University farm, while the poultry feed mill is situated in Dayin village along the road to Doba, in Sokoto State.
“NALDA is into partnership with Prime Ranch Ltd, who donated the 100 hectares of land where we are establishing the animal husbandry farm, napier grass field and will cultivate maize and millet on 30 hectares of the said land,” Ikonne stated.
ALSO READ: Nigerian youths urged to take up career in agriculture
“The establishment of the napier grass field is to ensure feed production for the cows, as that will eliminate the roaming around of the animals in search of feed, thereby curtailing farmer/herder clash.
“The milking parlour will serve both the cows in the farm and other animal husbandry farmers who would want their cows milked in a hygienic way.
“Prime Ranch will manage the farm on completion based on their wealth of experience in animal husbandry. This type of partnership is sustainable, productive and should be encouraged in order for us to achieve food security and development”, he stated.
Ikonne also revealed that with the establishment of the poultry feed mill, which Prime Ranch provided the land and was managing the 62,000 poultry capacity, there would be feed production for small farmers across the zone and other parts of the country.
He said job opportunities would also be created for those who wouldwork at the milking parlour by attending to the cows.
“The employment chain will not be anything less that 400, consisting of workers who would be directly involved in these activities, outside the output, which is achieving food sufficiency,” he noted.
Also speaking during the inspection of the projects, the farms and feed mill, the Founder, Prime Ranch Ltd, Nafiu Yakubi, said the partnership with NALDA was coming into fruition.
He said, “the thinking when we incorporated Prime Ranch years back, is to have a ranch kind of arrangement whereby we grow our animals, grow their feeds, fatten them, and sell them off to the market. The partnership with NALDA is a very cordial one. They support us in all areas that we need support from them.”
Yakubu said, “Arising from this partnership with NALDA, you have seen the feed mill. We are currently producing feed for our poultry and other NALDA poultry farmers.”
He however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for encouraging young farmers through NADLA, stressing that the President had called Nigerians to return to farming, as he urged Nigerian youths to yield to the call.