Kebbi State distributed livestock, animal feeds and chickens to 2,778 pastoralists under its Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme on Friday.
It was done in partnership with the Mass Literacy Programme and Almajiri Initiative Foundation, an intervention scheme of the wife of the governor, Hajiya Aisha Bagudu.
Making the distribution in Maiyama Local Government Area of the state, Hajiya Bagudu, said the pastoralists were trained in yoghurt production with the expectation that they would impact the knowledge on others.
“We want to make nomadic pastoralists sedentary and we want milk and yoghurt buyers to meet them in their settlements to buy their products.
“This is just like ranch system the Federal Government is trying to establish and that is what the governor is trying to do,’’ she said.
Hajiya Bagudu noted that the animals’ kits and feeds were distributed as revolving loans in the hope that beneficiaries would repay for others to benefit.
She urged the beneficiaries to appreciate the gesture and ensure best use of the opportunity for the success and sustainability of the project.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries, Alhaji Aminu Dandiga, said that government was committed to the diversification of the economy and increasing Internally Generated Revenue.
He said the project was designed to improve local milk production and to enhance livestock production.
“We have seven selected value chains production enterprises which are sheep multiplication, goat multiplication, local chicken upgrading, home-made yoghurt and milk collection scheme, commercial pasture production and modern beekeeping.
“Some beneficiaries will get four ewes (female sheep) and one ram, while some others will get four does (female goats) and a buck (male goat).
“On chicken, five local breed of chickens and feeds will be given to one beneficiary; among others.
“About 10 milk collectors have been provided with motorcycles and milk cans to collect and transport fresh milk to livestock investigation and breeding centre at Bulasa, in Birnin Kebbi LGA for processing,’’ he said.
Dandiga said the government was constructing a yoghurt factory at Bulasa, adding that when completed, it would produce 1,000 litres of milk every day.
“It is also expected to generate N1.6 billion annually,’’ he said.
He added that 500 beneficiaries would be empowered with animal feeds and N40,000 each.
“The repayment will be done with two litres of milk through the milk collectors who were earlier provided with motorcycles.
“We have 17 rooms provided with two solar freezers each to store unsold milk,’’ the commissioner said.
Earlier, Chairman of Maiyama Local Government Area, Alhaji Zayyanu Bello, commended the wife of the governor for her passion and efforts to better the lives of pastoralists in the state.
“We also commend Gov. Atiku Bagudu for his agricultural drive and efforts to ensure that 2,500 hectares of land are being cultivated here in Maiyama to diversify our economy,’’ he said.
Bello urged the beneficiaries to use their loans wisely to increase their economic status and improve the lives of their families.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) thanked the state government and the wife of the governor for the gesture and assured that they would abide by the terms and conditions of the loan for others to benefit. (NAN)