By Segun Ade
Kano State Agro Pastoral Project will expend about $9 million to construct 200 milk collection centres across the state in the next five years.
The state Project Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, disclosed this in a message to mark the World Milk Day. He said the state plans to construct 40 such centres annually, beginning from this year.
According to him, “Each Milk Collection Center will have a borehole equipped with a solar-powered pump and a 20, 000 liter overhead tank, an inputs store and up to 10 fodder banks in its environs”.
“This is in addition to a 250-liter tank cooled by solar power and a milk testing bench with suitable reagents and utensils”.
Ibrahim further announced that training programmes would be conducted for milk producers to guarantee quality assurance of their products, even as about 40 milk products cooperative groups, under the umbrella of the state Fura Da Nono Cooperative Union Ltd., have been identified for support.
“The project will provide the umbrella union with solar-powered milk cooling and storage facilities with testing kits, which will be complemented with the provision of milk collection cans”.
“We also plan to invest handsomely in coordinated fodder production and annual cattle vaccination in addition to proactive artificial insemination, to improve the health and capacity of cattle in the state to produce good quality milk”.
“Part of our plan for the milk cooperatives is to help them improve sanitation in their markets. In the same vein, milk and milk product vendors especially women will be support with grants/credits to facilitate hygienic processing and storage of their products”.
This, the project coordinator stressed, will provide safer milk and dairy products and increase incomes of the members of the milk associations.
“Our overall aim is to ensure that more milk is produced locally, under best practices, so that we can drastically reduce dependence on imported milk and allied products, as well as improve nutrition in our communities”.