In a bid to multiply the number of cows as well as increase milk production in the country, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has disclosed of plans by the Federal Government to commence artificial insemination of cattle at its different Research Institutes and Centres through a programme known as ‘Milk River Project’.
The Minister said this while addressing youths at a ‘Leadership Clinic’ organised by the Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI) in Abuja.
He noted that the insemination would require the importation of semen from countries like Europe and Brazil to inject into local cows to be able to produce many calves.
“We are going to start doing multiplications of cows now at different centres. We bring the semen from Europe, Brazil, sort them out, the female and the male, inseminate the local cows, it produces calves and at 6 months, we wean them, sell them at a cheaper rate to youths”, he said.
“You keep the cows, collect about 25 litres of milk every morning, sell it to a mini processor nearby and earn a lot of money daily,’’ he added.
Ogbeh lamented that Nigerians bought low quality powdered milk for about 1.2 billion dollars annually because our cows were so badly nourished.
According to the minister, about 37 per cent of children in the country were malnourished; stressing that the increased milk production would reverse the trend.