The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has suggested the importation and cultivation of good and nutritious grass as part of the effort to end the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
He said ,aside from stemming the frequent menace of herdsmen, imported nutritious grass will help to breed healthy cows that have capacity to produce quality milk.
Ogbeh, who stated this in Lagos on Thursday during interactive session with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) also said that Nigerian cows, which should be among the best breed in the world, lacked the capacity to produce quality milk because they wandered about.
“The largest ranch in the world, dairy farm in the world is in Saudi Arabia; 135,000 cows in one farm, but they are the most comfortable cows on planet earth, they live in air-conditioned tents.
“They eat and they produce milk; they give 40 litres of milk per day. We do, sometimes, half a litre of the milk. That’s why Saudi milk is all over the gulf.
“Where do they get their grass? They get their grass from the U.S.; import alfalfa grass from the U.S. and from Sudan.
“Our cows are wandering and the herdsmen are at war with farmers; a crisis we must bring to an end as quickly as possible. And the solution is: grow grass.
“I have said it before, but I came up against a barrage of assaults. ‘Is it grass now? Na grass you go import?’ They said.
“With all due apologies to the commentators, they do not know as much as I do about this business of cattle; I keep some.
“There is no way you can keep cows without good grass to feed them and the grass must have a minimum of 18 per cent protein, trace elements and amino acids, then the cow will give you good meat,’’ he said.
Ogbeh was accompanied to the session by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Environment, Hajia Aminat Mohammed.
The NPAN was represented by its President and Publisher of Thisday Newpapers, Mr Nduka Obaigbena, and Dame Comfort Obi of The Source Magazine, among others. .