Re­set­tle IDPs through goat farm­ing - ABU don

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST - By Sa­fina Buhari

An ex­pert in feed re­sources and ru­mi­nant nu­tri­tion in the De­part­ment of An­i­mal Science, Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Suleiman M. Yashim, has called on gov­ern­ment at all lev­els and other rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in the coun­try to con­sider goat farm­ing while re­set­tling peo­ple dis­placed by in­sur­gency in the North-east.

In an in­ter­view with Daily Trust at the week­end, Dr. Yashim said the call be­came nec­es­sary be­cause of the pro­lific way the an­i­mals re­pro­duce, say­ing goats are a class of an­i­mals that both women and chil­dren would find easy to tend.

The don noted that “if Nige­rian gov­ern­ment will be able to re­set­tle In­ter­nally Dis­placed Per­sons giv­ing each family two she and one he goats, it will em­power them eco­nom­i­cally. They will restart their lives and it will help them cope with the trauma they have gone through.’’

Goat pro­duc­tion pro­vides am­ple op­por­tu­nity for es­tab­lish­ing cot­tage in­dus­tries based on meat, milk and cheese in­clud­ing hides and skin, Dr. Yashim also said.

“The Red Sokoto has very good leather that com­mands a high pre­mium in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. All other goat skins are equally in de­mand,” he added. The leather, he said, is used to pro­duce shoes, bags and other leather prod­ucts.

The don ex­plained that goats take about 12 to 18 months to reach ma­tu­rity. They are weaned at about six months and the mother goat may im­me­di­ately take in again. This is be­cause goats are very pro­duc­tive and have high fe­cun­dity i.e. can pro­duce twice a year com­pared to other ru­mi­nants, he fur­ther said.

Sim­i­larly, “goats are very ag­ile and in­quis­i­tive and so they are gen­er­ally bet­ter than other ru­mi­nants such as sheep and cat­tle in terms of re­sis­tance to dis­eases, ex­cept in terms of out­break.”

In ad­di­tion, goats eat a wide range of grasses, leaves, grains, veg­eta­bles, tubers among oth­ers. They for­age freely and could pos­si­bly thrive on any ed­i­ble ma­te­rial, mak­ing them the best form of farm­ing the in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple could be re­set­tled with, Dr. Yashim added. Gen­er­ally, goat meat is widely ac­cepted across eth­nic and re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tions. It has a rel­a­tively low fat con­tent and does not trig­ger al­ler­gic re­ac­tions when con­sumed.

A goat farm in Abuja

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