The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has established an animal husbandry farm with cow milking parlour on a 100 hectares land in Sokoto state.
The Authority said it is developing a modern animal husbandry farm that would sustain itself and reduce the movement of cows within the area.
The executive- secretary, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, while speaking with newsmen 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.
He explained that the essence of establishing the modern animal husbandry farm, which has cow pens with capacity of 500 cows, cow milking parlour with capacity of 200 cows in a set, napier grass on 50 hectares, clinics/veterinary sections and a training centre, was based on Mr. President’s directive, in line with NALDA’s mandate.
Ikonne said that NALDA 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.
At the same time, the farm would train and encourage young farmers to go into animal husbandry farming and animal food formulation, according to the NALDA boss.
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 spotted 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.
He added, “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.”
On employment opportunities through the partnership, Ikonne stated 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 stated.
Also speaking during inspection of both 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.”
On the output from the partnership, 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 thanked 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.
“I am a lawyer and I am back to the farm, so Nigerian youths should go back to farming. It is very profitable and the opportunities are very wide,” Yakubu stated.