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Gov Otti gives approval-in-principle for establishment of diary farm in Abia

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Gov Otti gives approval-in-principle for establishment of diary farm in Abia

Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, Abia State Governor, has given approval-in-principle to a proposal for the establishment of an ultra modern dairy farm in the state.

Governor Otti gave the berthed nod when he met with the management of Blue Ribbon Limited, led by Sir Idris Wabara, who visited him on Friday.

He said the establishment of a dairy farm in the state makes sense as it would enhance economic development, adding that the idea of having people move around the streets with cows is outdated and outlawed in most countries.

The Governor assured the company that his government would get into the details of the proposal with a view to ascertain the possibility of it being implemented.

Giving insight into the company’s proposal, Wabara, a native of Ohambele in Ukwa-East, Abia State, said his company intends to establish the state-of-the-art dairy farm in partnership with Afimilk, an Israeli company renowned for its expertise in agriculture.

Wabara emphasised the significance of the project in strengthening the economic landscape of Abia State and its potential impact on the lives of its citizens, noting that the project presents an opportunity to enhance the state’s agricultural productivity and reduce reliance on imported dairy products.

He added that the proposed dairy farm offers potential benefits to the state in increased revenue generation, job creation, heightened economic activity as well leveraging Abia’s agricultural potential to ensure food security, and generate foreign exchange the state.

“You know the state of the Nigerian economy now, it’s either we produce or we perish. A political leader we all admire so much said Nigeria needs to move from consumption to production, and our core competences, I believe, rests in agriculture.

“We know what his Excellency the Governor has been doing in Abia. We are looking to partner with an Israeli outfit that is quite experienced in this sector and we know that with them, Abia state will get the best.

“What we want to do is to feed the local market with milk, we want to conserve foreign currency and train our people. The Israelis are keen in training our people in local expertise, so we intend to train people here and send some of them to Israel for training, and I think it’s a win-win situation for the country.

“Government will have increased revenue, you’ll have people employed, we are not just setting up, we’re attracting bigger milk processors and increased economic activity. We’ll train Abians, we’ll train people through the expertise in dairy, so this is essentially dairy, produce milk and associated products for the consumption of the local market and possibly for export,” he said.

Wabara expressed confidence in the Israeli partners’ commitment to transferring knowledge and skills to local workers, thereby contributing to capacity building and technological advancement in the agricultural sector.

He clarified that the initiative is not related to RUGA or cattle rearing but aims to produce high-quality milk to meet local demands.

“We are asking the government to support the project, to leverage and essentially, make land available for the project, and I must emphasise that this is not RUGA. This is not cattle rearing and it’s not National livestock whatever, this is a dairy farm. We bring in world class cattle, we produce world class milk,” he said.

Wabara stressed the imperative of nutritional security for Abia’s populace and advocated for the production and consumption of fresh milk over imported powdered alternatives.

He added that states such as Kaduna, Ekiti, and Oyo had successfully implemented the dairy farming projects and further stressed the need for Abia State to seize the opportunity to develop and grow its agricultural sector.

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