A rancher, livestock researcher and retired professor of Animal Physiology, Professor Olusegun Osinowo has highlighted cattle ranching, machine milking, less stressful animal transportation and provision of modern abattoir infrastructure across the country, as key measures to improve cattle production to boost national meat and milk yields. He stated that nomadic pastoralism which accounts for about 82% of Nigeria’s cattle production system has no place in the new century. He highlighted the many consequences of pastoralism to include desertification, disease spread and farmers/herders conflicts.
Speaking as the Lead speaker on a recent webinar organised by Cattle Hub (a brainchild of Real People Concept) on the topic, “Modern Cattle Production for Improved Milk and Meat”, Prof Osinowo opined the Nigerian cattle breeds are not specialized and serve dual purposes, with low yields. He illustrated this with the examples of a two year-old Angus bull which weighs about 725kg, compared to the Nigerian Bunaji (White Fulani) which weighs about 227kg. He also said that while the milk yield of a Holstein-Friesian cow is between 15-25 litres per day, the Nigerian indigenous unspecialized Bunaji breed yields about 4 litres per day. He highlighted current global technological advancements in cattle production such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer, estrus synchronization, and molecular techniques (PCR, Marker-Assisted Selection, DNA Sequencing, Cloning,Transgenesis, etc), stating that Nigeria must enhance her manpower and capacities in these areas, if milk and meat production must be improved.
According to Osinowo who is also the MD/CEO of Abass Ranch, “Nigeria’s population is projected to increase from the present 250 million to about 450 by the year 2050. For Nigeria to be able to feed this projected population sufficiently, cattle production must be modernized“.
In his response, the convener of the discourse, Mr Olawole Tunmise of the Real People Concept thanked the guest speaker and participants for attending despite their busy schedule and technical hitches. He used the opportunity to educate the audience on the activities and services of the Cattle Hub to include the Cattle Breed Improvement and Multiplication Project, Artificial Insemination station set-up, pasture development, milk collection centre, animal sales, animal health services and general livestock consultation.
The webinar, which began at 3:05 pm (WAT) witnessed participants from the business, academia and other stakeholders in the livestock value chain. LIVESTONEWS.