President Muhammadu Buhari says an initiative on dairy farming being championed by Denmark and the Kaduna State Government will go a long way in curbing clashes between cattle herders and farmers in Nigeria.
According to a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari stated this on Monday while receiving Torben Gettermann, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja.
He said establishment of dairy farms, as being promoted by Denmark, “will save the country from the almost perennial problem of clashes between herders and farmers, made worse by population explosion.”
President 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.”
Explaining the concept of dairy farming further, Mr Gettermann 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.
He said a Danish company, Arla, will then buy the milk off the cattle farmers.
Mr Gettermann further explained that the Danish government will bring investors through its Agriculture Counsellor in the country, while the Kaduna State government will 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,” the ambassador, who spent four years in Nigeria, said.
Mr Gettermann is proceeding on retirement after 40 years in the service of his country.