The Sokoto State Cattle Breeding Project, the largest of its kind in the West African sub-region, will be inaugurated in May this year, Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Alhaji Tukur Alkali has said.
Conducting journalists round the project sites in Sokoto and Rabah LGA of the state, Alkali said the project will improve the genetics of local cattle breeds by ensuring higher milk and beef production while at the same time empowering farmers with modern technique of livestock production.
“The government has spent N2.8 billion on the project which was inherited from the immediate past administration of Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko. Of the amount, N1.5 billion was spent on the supply of Argentinean cattle to be used for cross-breeding, construction, training of personnel, security and other logistics while another N1.3 billion was for the procurement of equipment for the project.
“The project is the most definite long-term strategy to end farmers-herdsmen clashes as is being experienced across the federation, and in some neighboring West African countries. We hope to not only empower our farmers, but also impact new/modern knowledge on mechanized farming and cattle breeding techniques.
“About 13 cluster farms would be established to be run by private entities. All the cattle breeds will graze in these fields. We will also provide research centre and laboratory, veterinary services among others,” he added.
The Sokoto state government had in 2010 signed a N2 billion contract with an Argentine firm, South American Breeding Technologies (SABT) for the establishment of a cattle breeding, milk and beef production factory.
Based on the agreement, SABT will train and bring revolutionary changes in agriculture, genetic procedure, meat processing and milking machines.