The barrage of comments, criticisms, questions and name-calling on the social media that have trailed the announcement of an intention to import grass to improve the business of production of cattle, sheep and goats in Nigeria is rather incredible. Too many of such comments smacked of hasty, hollow and inappropriate responses that betrayed a lack of understanding of the subject, the enormity of the problem, the benefits embedded in the planned intervention and the urgency of the need to adopt that measure. I want to put some facts in public domain and in the right perspective for the public to know.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has repeatedly announced that he was changing the system of ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) husbandry in Nigeria, replacing the time-worn method of nomadism and roaming of animals with intensive and better organised system of keeping animals in paddocks and feedlot. I am aware it will take some knowledge of what is wrong in the livestock industry to understand and appreciate what the minister is talking about. He has said the constantly moving animals don’t grow as they should. He has spoken of availability of grasses of low nutritive values. It is not enough for the animals to eat grass. They need to eat grasses of high level of nutrients. This is the crux of the matter. Read more