Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe
The project of the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP on enhancing long-term sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Northern Nigeria emphasised the importance of keeping record in dairy goat farming.
This was held for women beneficiaries in ten communities where the UNDP/GEF project was being implemented in Balanga and Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State.
The communities are Yadi, Jessu, Kutare, Nassarawo and Gelengu in Balanga Local Government Area and Pokwangli, Patuwana, Kaltim, Kung’e and Dogon Ruwa in Kaltungo Local Government Area, aimed at building greater community resilience to the challenges of climate on food production.
The need for dairy goat farmers was stressed by the GEF/UNDP Project Technical Advisor, Dr. Garba Saleh who taught the women beneficiaries of the dairy goat farming in the two local government areas.
Dr. Garba taught women beneficiaries for them to succeed in dairy goat farming which was said to be essential, especially the record keeping aspect of it for tracking the developments on each of the animals, right from the time of acquiring the goat.
He said without records, a farmer would not know if he/she was making profits or not.
“So, in dairy animals like goat, the most important thing of the record is to keep record of the quantity of milk. That is, milk production record. Each and every day, you are supposed to record how much milk you are collecting from a particular animal. So, at the end of the day, you will know the total amount of milk that you have acquired. So, if the animal is unproductive, through the record you can know so that you can call out the animal, that is, you can remove the animal from the whole,” Dr. Garba said.
He stated other importance attached to keeping or registering regular developments in dairy farming to include feed records, veterinary records and drugs or medical records.
Dr. Garba said these records would help in keeping the taps of the sicknesses that were peculiar with each animal, as well as the kind of treatment that was working to treat the ailments.
He said it was equally important for the dairy farmer to record the number of kids the animal reproduced at every given time, so as to know the animal’s level of productivity.
Dr. Garba said that could only be achieved through marking them for identification.
“All these can be achieved through the tagging. That is you tag every animal, maybe in the years of the animal so that you give numbers to give to each animal.
Dr Garba adds that through that number or tagging, the challenges of every animal could be detected.