President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed on Tuesday that he was unhappy that Nigeria produces enough agricultural products to feed the nation but fails to preserve them, leading to waste and hunger.
The President promised that his administration will do things differently by stopping the culture of waste in a country where UNICEF said recently that at least 2.1 million children are severely malnourished.
“We have failed to develop our assets on a permanent basis. This, we are determined to work on,” he said.
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Mr. Buhari spoke in Abuja when he received the Global Chief Executive Officer of Friesland Campina, The Netherlands, Mr Roelf Joosten, the presidency said in a statement to TheSimonAtebaNews.
The delegation of the Global CEO included the Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr Rahul Colaco.
President Buhari said cattle farmers throw away milk from their animals “because there is no means of preserving and processing the product.
He urged Friesland Campina, in its collaboration with Nigeria, to educate cattle farmers that “quality matters more than quantity,” and help them organise into cooperatives for better business”.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who was also at the event, promised that herdsmen would soon be organised into ranches in the country, with special grasses and water, which will give better yield, and make the animals healthier. He also disclosed that special flasks, which can preserve raw milk for up to six hours, would soon be made available, enabling cattle farmers to get the product to dairies in good quality, the presidency said.
It quoted Mr Joosten as disclosing that Friesland Campina, a cooperative owned by 19,000 farmers, is 145 years old. It began business in Nigeria in 1973 as Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria.
The company told Mr. Buhari that it wants to partner with the Federal Government to build a healthier populace through better nutrition, collaborate in the school feeding programme, and promote dairy development in the country. It has also been providing nutrition support for internally displaced persons in the North-East.