Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe has explained that the Federal Government plans to provide a litre of milk a day to the 30,000,000 children in secondary and primary schools under the school feeding programme.
Chief Ogbe disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a meeting he held with a team from the West African Milk Company, WAMCO.
He quoted in UNESCO statistics that said 24 percent of Nigerian Children under the age of five are under weight while 37 percent are under nourished and declared that the Federal Government will tackle the problem of malnutrition which adversely affects the intelligent quotient of children.
To address the problem, Chief Ogbe said the Federal Government will next year embark on programme to develop massive grazing grounds for cattle to bring roaming and its attendant problem to an end.
The minister disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will acquire 10 deep water rigs from the Borno State Government and build windmills to operate wells that will provide water for the planned grazing grounds.
He added that the grazing grounds will not only improve the quantity and quality of beef and milk produced in the country, they will also make cattle rearers more sedentary.
Speaking further on the quality of cows reared in the Nigeria, Chief Ogbe said that the ministry will partner with some universities abroad and in Nigeria to establish an artificial insemination programme in 200 centres in the country; he challenged researchers to look for and introduce into the proposed cattle breeding programme animals that adapt well in the Nigerian climatic condition.
In his presentation, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Rahul Colaco explained that WAMCO which is an affiliate of Royal Friesland Company was one of the leading dairy companies in the world.
The Managing Director explained that WAMCO, producer of the peak milk brand which has been in operation in Nigeria for about sixty years was committed to create the most professional and attractive dairy production in the country .
Mr. Colaco enumerated various challenges militating against the operation of the company which include inadequate infrastructure, unavailability of land, quality of the animal breeds among others.
He said his company which had already engaged about two thousand five hundred local farmers in its programme had assisted the farmers in areas of training, technical expertise and access to research and innovations.
The Managing Director posited that for the country to achieve self sufficiency in milk production, measures such as infrastructure, funds, public private partnership agreement and increase in the number of farmers must be addressed by the government.
While seeking for more partnership from the government, he expressed his company’s commitment to improve on its milk production and make it more accessible and affordable to the people.

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