A bluechip international company and and international private sector development NGO propose a project to leverage resources to support a pilot implementation of the National Livestock Development Project, on dairy development, from 2020-2024 with CBi Innovations Ltd. delivering the project and investing in the livestock for the demonstration farm. The project will begin October 2020 by developing 1,000 hectares to demonstrate how the establishment of improved pasture can increase productivity of indigenous cattle. The initial pilot project will be carried out around Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in one of the grazing reserves (Preferably Paikon Kore), this will also support Federal government initiative on livestock transformation agenda (Cattle ranching).
- Establishment of the ranches for improved fodder production Preparation of hay or silage for dry season feeding
- Establishment of sufficient water resources for feeding and irrigation
- Improvement of milking hygiene and fresh milk quality
- Establishment of fresh milk collection route-to-market
- Development of small dairy entrepreneurs for milk production
The Project sits of three pillars:
- Better Fodder
- Balanced pasture: For pastoralists seeking to maximise their cow’s milk production, good quality feed is a vital component, and can account for 80% of total inputs and 60-65% of total costs. Although pastoralists have some access to feed concentrate and commercial feed, these items are often unaffordable to the herdsmen, and they therefore opt for forage feed. The local forage that is readily available to pastoralists is low in quality compared to other forms of forage, such as, Bracharia, Chloris, hybrid napier grass used in Kenya and other East African countries. Despite the known benefits of the hybrid grass, commercial production of this crop in Nigeria has increased very rapidly over the last two years (based on the work of the DFID-funded Business Innovation Facility – predecessor of CBi Innovations Ltd.), though a very few large-scale dairy farmers produced it, they did so only for the consumption of their animals on-farm.
- Silage/hay making: There is a lack of all-year-round fodder that causes pastoralists to move their cattle around the country especially at the onset of the dry season. It is proposed that silage, hay, haylage and pelletized roughage will be produced from these grasses to ensure availability of fodder during the dry season to shore up milk production.
- Sufficient clean water: A rough rule of thumb is that for every liter of milk produced by the cow in tropical conditions like ours, it needs 3 liters of water apart from water needed for maintenance requirement. It is also said that cattle can survive several days without fodder but the absence of water will only be tolerated for 3-4 days and this is what would make Pastoralists move their herds sooner.
- Better Quality
- Healthy cow: The inception stock for the farm will be 200 heifers/cows (investment from CBi Innovations Ltd.) in addition to those being supported from the surrounding communities, which will be reared under semi-intensive grazing pattern. These animals will be bred through artificial insemination using sex semen and/or embryo transfer technology to hasten the genetic upgrading. Five cattle sheds will be constructed in during the life of the project to house some 500 odd animals and to accommodate for calves and young stock pens. Care of an animal does not only mean treating it when it is sick; it also means preventing it from becoming ill. Preventive measures are through quarantine, vaccinations and prophylactic treatments. Demo farm animals will be vaccinated by the project, but the community animals will be vaccinated by their owners. The community will be helped by the project to source good quality vaccines which they will pay for themselves. De-worming of all animals will be at start, mid and end rainy season as well as middle of the dry season.
- Clean milking: Good hygiene is key for the quality of milk and its products, as well as for the producer since the milk price often depends on quality; poor quality milk will be rejected during processing. The handling of milk strongly affects the quality of the finished product. On leaving the udder milk from a healthy cow contains a negligible quantity of bacteria and no dirt. If good hygiene is practiced the contamination outside the udder can be kept to a minimum.
- Hygienic milk collection: Establishment of a network of youth entrepreneurs or Community LIFE Agents (CLAs) who are trained on milk hygiene and collection techniques and will make a living providing support to the dairy farmers in the community and helping to aggregate and/or transport milk from farmers to the milk collection centres within 2-3 hours before the milk gets spoiled. They are trained on basic milk testing techniques which they deploy at the time of receiving milk from farmer’s houses/points. Aggregators transport milk amounting generally from 60 to 120 liters in one trip using milk churns on adapted motor bikes. They are usually provided with the transportation cost of the milk separately.
- Better Product
- To ensure a good product, the bluechip company will work with a local dairy as it sets up its factory in the FCT Industrial Layout of Abuja to ensure Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Laboratory Practices and Good Health & Safety Practices. The Local Dairy will be the initial off-taker for the first 2 years while the bluechip company will focus on refitting its processing factory to take liquid milk instead of powdered milk. As the volume of good quality milk builds up in the third & fourth years, it will further facilitate the local dairy to be their central hub for bulk milk aggregation before delivering to their processing plant.
- The bluechip company will use fresh milk in its Lagos factory for further processing into their high-quality consumer goods. Local dairy will pasteurize milk for it and transfer pasteurized milk from Local Dairy to Lagos factory. The bluechip company is planning to do investments in its Lagos factory which will enable it to use fresh milk instead of milk powder.
Expected Project Outcomes by end Year 5
- Cattle involved in the project 24,000 – 30,000
- Pastoralists households involved in the project 3,500 – 4,000
- Pastureland developed in excess of 1,000ha
- Silage/hay/dry matter produced 3,000MT
- Establishment of 15 industrial bore holes
- Daily Milk Collection from Community & Demonstration Farm 280,000l
- Number of Youth (18-35 year old) Entrepreneurs (CLAs) Developed 2,000 over 5 years