Mr. Suraj Ajiboye, Chief Executive Director, SMAP Farms Ltd, has urged young graduates to explore diversification in dealing with changing times and embrace new technology of cattle rearing. Ajiboye gave the statement at a 5-day International workshop on Animal Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs) in Africa, organised by the National Biotechnological Development Agency (NABDA) on Thursday in Abuja.
The workshop was in collaboration with industry leaders in cattle breeding and dairy farming such as SMAP farms Ltd and Mississippi State University, Department of Animal and Diary Sciences.
He said this has become imperative because the demand for local cow milk by processors is on the increase as dairy farming in Nigeria is not so popular at the moment.
Ajiboye said farmers can make money from the production of quality beef, milk, cheese, cow skin for leather companies, cow horns, cow bones as well as cow faeces for manures and biogas.
He said dairy farming has become an increasingly competitive business in the Country and the requirement for cow milk processor in Nigeria is about 1.8 million per day.
He added that Nigeria’s annual production deficit of over 1 million tonnes of milk is being met by importation, which costs an average of about N174 billion annually and the deficit must be met.
Ajiboye said poor milk yield has always been the major problem facing local diary production, adding that improved nutrition artificial insemination of local breeds and selection of up-to-date milking technology would change the situation.
He also stated that the target market for cow milk production in the country was easy with processors looking for cow milk, while urging young graduates to channel their energy into such ventures.
He called on youths planning to go into dairy farming not to be swayed by quick profit, adding that the profitability of the business could only be driven by passion.
He stated that there was need to move away from the mindset of quick money, adding that no one could run any enterprise successfully if the person could not remain within a year.
He said that all tribes and other interested person could also join the business, adding that the business of cow had gone beyond nomads.