Minister justifies importation of grass from Brazil

According to minister, the move would ensure the production of quality meat and milk for local consumption.

Audu Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh has explained the need for the federal government's decision to import grass for ranches and grazing reserves in Nigeria.

Speaking at the inaugural town hall meeting in Abuja on Thursday, June 9, 2016, the minister said the move would ensure that cattle produce quality meat and milk for local consumption.

He said: "Grass is not just grass. If the grass does not have 15% good protein, amino acids and other necessary nutrients, it is then not good enough for the cow to eat. The food the cow eats passes on to humans through meat and milk.

"When you give them high quality grass and water, you get good meat and milk anything short of that, you will be eating chaff," he said.

He debunked rumours that the federal government would revoke land ownership through the establishment of ranches in some parts of the country.

"We are going to develop ranches across Nigeria but the federal government will not seize lands from anybody because we already have enough lands donated by states. In a few days, we will start grassing up areas those areas so this current crisis between herdsmen and farmers will be brought to an end."

Ogbeh who stressed on Nigeria's increasing population rate further charged the youths to participate in Agriculture.

"We have to invite younger people to participate in Agriculture because in 34years time, Nigeria's population will be 450million. At least 5% of humanity will be in Nigeria and who is going to feed them?"

He noted that the federal government will restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOI) to enable farmers gain access to credit facilities.

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