Kano State Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, says his state will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) for the development of grazing area for herdsmen in the state.
Ganduje said this when he visited the NABDA headquarters in Abuja.
The governor said with the collaboration the state would convert one of its forests to reserve settlement for the development of grazing area for cattle, which would allow herdsmen to station in one place.
Ganduje, who expressed displeasure with the spate of herder-farmer clashes, said that his state would avoid the violence when herdsmen were stationed one place to feed their cattle.
He said that with the employment of biotechnology in the state, cattle business would become more profitable with the availability of varieties of fodder produced by NABDA to feed cattle.
“This will enhance the productivity of these cattle, enabling them to reproduce at a shorter time and frame better and healthier offspring,’’ he said.
The governor said the state was developing the Bio- resource centre established by NABDA in order to facilitate the socio-economic development of Kano state.
“We are building many houses, veterinary clinics, schools, markets among others that will contributes to the social life of Nigerians,’’ Ganduje said.
He was optimistic that with the facilities in place, parents would take advantage to educate their wards to become professionals, contributing to nation building which would go a long way to reduce herder-farmer conflicts.
Ganduje, who was conducted round the scientific facilities in the NABDA, expressed optimism that with adequate funding and manpower development, the agency would take Nigeria to the next level.
He noted that the best way to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic that was adversely affecting the country was to look inward for home-grown solutions.
He said that if all the technologies he found at the NABDA were harnessed, Nigeria would come up with something it never had.
“All that is required is the knowledge to harness what we have, research on what we have and produce something that we don’t have, that is the whole essence of this centre,’’ he said.
He further said it was time to employ biotechnology which would help the country in many ways.
Ganduje said that he was ready to collaborate with the agency in many ways to tackle the issue of converting waste to wealth, especially in the area of producing fodder for cattle.
He said Kano state stood to benefit greatly from this collaboration as a heavily populated state in Nigeria.
He expressed his appreciation for the establishment of the bio-resource centre in Kano.
In his welcome address, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, the Director-General of NABDA, said that the agency had about 34 offices with zonal offices and bio-resource development centres across the nation.
According to him, the recently established bio-resource centre in Kano is not a coincidence.
He revealed that the centre in Kano would focus on agriculture, dedicated to genomic and genetic engineering to foster the lives of the people in the community who were nomadic in nature.
He said the centre would “better the animals, most especially the cows the people were rearing around the North West geopolitical zone’’.
He said NABDA was engaged in a research project on the improvement of meat production using biotechnology and the bio-resource centre sited in Ganduje town would be the focal point.
“The cattle variety has already been identified and is going to be improved in meat production thereby economically enhancing all those around whose source of income is cattle rearing,’’ Mustapha said.
He also mentioned another variety which was going to be considered within that area to further the research on milk production.
He said on average the variety of cow would produce a minimum of five litres of milk a day but after the completion of their work, the variety would be able to produce at least 25 litres a day.
He also said that the centre would encourage ranching, assuring that it had a technology that would produce the feed for the animal within the same environment that they would be confined.
“This will encourage avoidance of conflict between farmers and herders. All these will be the mandate and focus of bio-resource centre that is located in Ganduje town in Kano state,’’ Mustapha said.
Mr Edet Akpan, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, who had also visited the centre, thanked the governor for identifying with the activities of the agency.(NAN)