Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has said the state-owned Ikun Dairy Farm in Ikun- Ekiti, would serve as a prototype for National Livestock Transformation Plan in addressing farmers-herders crisis in the State.
Fayemi said this during an inspection of the newly-arrived 227 cows at the Ikun Dairy Farm from the United States of America (USA) and the expansive land for the cultivation of hays.
He said the integrated farm, designed to commence production of 10,000 litres of milk daily, is a joint project of Ekiti State Government and Promasidor Diary Company.
Fayemi said the new pregnant cows will be confined to their sheds in the farm.
He said about 500 hectares of land had already been acquired to grow fields that will be used to take care of the animals to prevent them from roaming about.
The governor said appropriate measures had also been put in place to connect water directly from Ero Dam to achieve a seamless water supply and irrigation process on the farm.
”The capacity of the Dairy Farm, being put to use for the first time in the last 40 years, has been expanded to run 24-hour operation in raising of cattle and production of milk.
”The dairy farm will also demonstrate Nigeria’s capacity to be a milk-producing nation rather than being a milk importing nation,” he said.
The governor visited the facility in company of the General Manager, of the farm, Mr Hermann Kibler, and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Olabode Adetoyi.
He expressed confidence in the Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the state government and Promasidor to guarantee the sustainability and economic viability of the farm.
“This dairy farm has been here for 40 years and it has not been put to use. This is the first time that it is going to be put into proper use.
“Agriculture, as we have always said in the state, is the pathway to progress, particularly for us, we are an agrarian society.
“These cows are going to be stationary, they are not roaming anywhere, they are not going on open grazing, they are right here on the farm.
“You know what we have suffered from open grazing not just in the state but across the length and breadth of the country.
“Once this model works, it will be an indication of what we can achieve through National Livestock Transformation Plan.
“And from what you have heard from the manager, this is a 24-hour-weekly (24/7) operation, the milk is going to come out of the milk parlour 24/7 and then transportation, marketing and other aspects of the value chain coming to Ekiti.
“We have an experienced person who is in charge, who has done this tons of time before coming to work here.
”We are reasonably confident that this is the partnership that will work with Promasidor,” he said.
Earlier, Kibler said the stage was set for the commencement of full-scale milk production.
He said, however, that the farm is still expecting a few hundreds of cows which would be delivered in the coming months.