Kebbi State on Friday distributed livestock, animal feeds and chickens to 2,778 pastoralists, under its Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme.
The distribution was carried out, in partnership with the Mass Literacy Programme and Almajiri Initiative Foundation, a project of the wife of the governor, Hajiya Aisha Bagudu.
Hajiya Bagudu, who made the distribution in Maiyama Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, said that the pastoralists had received training in yoghurt production, adding that they were expected to 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 the ranch system which the Federal Government is trying to establish and that is what the governor is also trying to do,’’ she said.
Hajiya Bagudu noted that animal kits and feeds were also distributed as revolving loans, in the hope that beneficiaries would repay the loans so as to enable others to benefit from the scheme.
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 the government was committed to the diversification of the state’s economy and increasing its Internally Generated Revenue.
He said that the project was designed to improve local milk production and enhance livestock production.
“We have seven selected value chain 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.
Besides, Dandiga said that 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, Alhaji Zayyanu Bello, the Chairman of Maiyama Local Government Area, 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 LGA to diversify our economy,’’ he said.
Bello urged the beneficiaries to use their loans wisely to boost their economic status and improve the lives of their families.
Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke, thanked the state government and the governor’s wife for the gesture, while pledging to abide by the terms and conditions of the loans for others to benefit.