By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of the measures to reposition livestock farming, some pastoralists in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been trained on hygienic handling of diary products.
The pastoralists drawn from the FCT Area Councils were engaged in a series of trainings, where a team of experts exposed them to efficient methods of hygienic milk handling, to help improve the quality and market value of their milk, thereby enhancing their incomes towards better livelihood.
Our correspondent reports that the capacity building workshop for Diary Cooperative Groups in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was recently organised by Department of Animal Husbandry Services, under the Agricultural and Rural Development (ARDS) of the FCT Administration, held in the Bwari and Gwagwalada Area Councils.
Explaining the workshop, Hajiya Umma Abubakar, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry Services in the ARDS, noted that the livestock subsector holds a lot of unexploited opportunities especially along its production and processing value chain.
Abubakar, disclosed that the ARDS will follow up trainees on the workshop, in order to monitor their progress and provide them with necessary assistance as the need arises.
“We trained pastoralists, who own 90% or more of the national herds of cattle and milk production in the country. Because, what we need to do is to enhance the way milk is produced and handled, so as to ensure that there is no contamination or adulteration.
“We have to ensure that we have a clean hygienic raw material, used to process the milk. And we are going to have series of trainings in terms of production, handling and processing across the six Area Councils of the FCT.
“We are going to strengthen diary cooperative groups, so that they will aggregate milk , and pave way for private processors that are ready to uptake the milk from them. We have to train and give them the equipment for quality milk production and handling.
“We are starting with these groups, because they produce the milk, and we want to improve the quality of the small quantity of the milk they are producing”, she stressed.
Many of the participants, who are mainly women involved in primary diary production process described the training programme as timely and key to the towards improving and harnessing of potentials in the livestock subsector.