Nigeria can earn $60m annually from donkey production – Farmers

The National Association of Donkey Farmers (NADFAMS), says the country can generate more than 60 million dollars annually and provide jobs for millions of youths through production of donkeys.

A member of Board of Trustees of NADFAM, Mr Chidebere Innabuike, said this at the official inauguration of the association and presentation of certificate of registration along with commissioning of its new office in Abuja.

Innabuike, who is also the CEO of EST Emmalex Global Farms Ltd, called for massive investment in the business of breeding of donkeys to boost the nation’s economy.

“Nigeria can make 60 million dollars annually, if we venture into production of donkeys, in terms of exportation and processing but you have to produce what you will export.”

“Right now, we are working towards aggressive production not processing, we are giving ourselves five to seven years to achieve the goal which will also help to create employment for millions of youths,” he said.

According to him, apart from economic and social benefits, donkeys also have medicinal value.

He, therefore, urged the government to support the association through loans or grants to promote investment in the production of donkeys.

“We seek assistance from the government, if the government could help us with grants or loans, it will help donkey farmers in attaining the goal of production of millions of donkeys annually.”

“Recently, we plan to establish ranches in various parts of the country, where the production of donkey is viable, especially in the north.”

“So, we request for loans or grants from the government through the ministry of agriculture. We can engage in what we call expansive ranches, if the government gives us loans,” he said.

According to him, the association is targeting production of two million donkeys by 2030.

He said that the farmers had a plan to establish donkey ranches in Gombe, Sokoto, Yobe Adamawa and Kano States.

“We have in Nasarawa, presently up to 12.5 hectares of ranches, and we want to expand to other parts of the north.

“We want the government to support through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security or Bank of Agriculture to establish and expand this business,” he said.

The Director, Animal Husbandry Services Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin, expressed the government’s determination to boost the production of donkey and save it from imminent extinction.

Lai-Solarin said that the government had established the Donkey Value Chain in the Department of Animal Husbandry Services in the ministry and a series of activities had been carried out towards achieving the purpose.

According to her, these include the stakeholder engagement on promotion of increased donkey’s production in Nigeria in 2020, formation and regulation of donkey farmers’ cooperative society across the states.

She said that other interventions included procurement and distribution of Jennies and feed to members of cooperatives in Katsina and Sokoto States; and distribution of concentrated feeds as palliatives to 100 donkey farmers.

She added that the department had also provided sensitization of donkey farmers on artificial insemination to promote modern techniques in donkey breeding and improvement.

The director said that the formation of the association was a right step towards boosting the production of donkeys in the country.

“The successful registration of the association is a great milestone in the efforts to galvanise ideas of common interest to achieve the objective of saving donkeys from imminent extinction not only in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole,”.

She commended the leadership for its resilience to make sure that the association was registered appropriately to give it a strong foot to stand with the government effort to promote increased production of donkey in Nigeria.

She said the effort would also help to avert extinction of the animal, provide means of livelihood and generate foreign earnings in the country.

The National President, NADFAMS, Alhaji Abubakar Kagu, said the formation of the association would complement government’s efforts to boost production of donkey in the country.

Kagu said the objective of the association was to stimulate the rural economy, provide employment opportunities.

According to him, it is also to complement government efforts in accelerating food production, particularly where mechanized form of agriculture cannot be accessed, but only through animal (donkey) traction.

He said that the association also served as a complementary partner to the Federal Government in its efforts to prohibit illegal slaughtering and processing of donkey for exports.

He said that this would be done through mobilization of its members to monitor and control the phenomenon.

“I’m sure the NADFAM will help to arrest the menace of extinction and help the country become the leading player in global donkey conservation to grow wealth for millions of farmers,” he said.


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