High demand could lead to beef scarcity – FG

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The Federal Government has raised concerns over the high demand for beef by consumers, which could lead to scarcity in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this at a meeting with members of the Governing Councils of the three Federal Universities of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Makurdi and Umudike.
“We are consuming more cows than we are calving. Lagos State alone consumes 6,000 cows per day. Add the figure from Rivers, Abia, Imo, Oyo, Kano States and FCT, it might not be long before we run out of beef,” he noted.
He further explained that the average Nigerian cows produce less than a litre of milk per day.
“In East Africa, they achieve 15 litres, some 20 litres. In Europe, they achieve 50 litres. The secrets are breeds and nutrition. Here, the roaming cows look lean, with poor meat quality. Cows are not meant to march around. They are not horses,” he said.
According to Ogbeh, due to the gap, government was spending billions to import powdered and reconstituted milk of low quality without any effect as 37 per cent of Nigerian children are malnourished.
The cattle Nigeria produces has low dairy yields daily arising from undernourishment and the grazing system for pasture.
However, he appealed to the university community to rise up to the challenge by teaching people artificial insemination, saying their prompt response is key towards resolving the problem.
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