banner ad

The Thrills of the National Agric Show

| October 18, 2012 More

“The milk output of a just 50% exotic breed of dairy cow is about 15 litres per day. You have the calves. The calves go for 2-3 litres while you go for 2,” Sani Tukur of Sebore farms, Adamawa state, explained with a giggle the disadvantage of the native breed of cows in terms of milk production when compared to the exotic breeds which he said produce at least 15 litres of milk per day.

Behind him was a beautiful herd of exotic breeds comprising of a bull and five dairy cattle feeding in an iron mesh pen. But the setting was not a farm. It was the Abuja-Keffi road ground of the National Agricultural Show that brought together farmers, policy makers, farm input manufacturers and marketers and other stakeholders with the major aim of developing the agric sector.

“If you want to go for dairy,” he said, “the package is N250, 000 for a bull. You may also go for artificial insemination, breeding artificially without a bull with frozen semen. This one cost N15, 000. But if you have a bull in your herd, you know any time your cows come on heat, you are certain. But with the semen, you need to have a specialist to grow your herd and then inseminate. So, that is not certain.”

“With N250, 000, you will be able to get a year old bull to start with, but we advise farmers to stop at the 75% of the exotic breed because they are better than the full exotic breeds in terms of resistance to endemic infections and tolerance to the weather here around the tropical zone. So, we advise our farmers to stop at that in terms of breeding.”

Beyond exotic breeds of cows, there were other interesting products that were as riveting as they were rare.

A knoll of freshly harvested extra-large tubers of yam in front of the FCT pavilion attracted many spectators who could not help wondering aloud from what manner of ridges the enormous tubers came. The man standing by the small hill of yams kept telling those marvelling at the size of the yams that “it is freshly harvested.” “If you stand between the ridges, you will not be seen.”

Asked who was in charge of the FCT pavilion, the young man said it was his father. He quickly added that “we won the show last year. We have been winning since the beginning. We will also win this year.”

Ms Dorothy Chairson, Director of Agric, in the Benue state ministry of agric, shared his optimism but albeit for her state. “We are expecting to take the first position. In fact, I have gone round, I have not seen – in terms of exhibition- I have not seen anybody like Benue state. So, we are expecting to take the first position by God’s grace,” she said.

Another spot that attracted people was the Zul-Nurain poultry stand. Catfish of several kinds were on display there.

A staff of the farm said hatching thousand fingerlings can be done by pressing out the egg from a matured female fish and pouring semen gotten from a live male fish on it. “You just leave it on to a tight net spread on a pond filled with it, and within a day you will have thousands of fingerlings.”

Apart from several farm produce on display in the Bauchi state Pavilion, Masa, a delicacy made from maize flour dough for which the state is known for was also showcased. Many people in love with the delicacy were there eating their fill. The Bauchi Pavilion also continuously ran a documentary highlighting what Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda has been doing regarding agriculture in the state.

The Permanent Secretary in the Bauchi state’s ministry of agric, Dr Dauda Abdullahi, said though 30,000 hectares of land were submerged under flood waters recently and the state lost about N3.5 billion worth of crops to the flood, the state government is ready to do all it can to help the affected farmers.

The Kano state pavilion had a caged lion that many people were eagerly paying to see. The colourful ‘kwankwasiyya’ trade mark red cap was discernible around the pavilion.

A quiet pavilion that didn’t attract people was the Nigeria Prisons Service Pavilion. It had jerry-cans of palm oil, bags of grain and bunches of plantain on display. A lone man in mufti, sitting beside the forlorn stand declined to make comments but allowed our reporter to take pictures of the items in the pavilion.

Various agricultural research institutes and agro-allied manufacturing industries also set up stands to showcase what they have for the industry.

Also the sorry state of agric in the country, this year’s meagre budget for the sector, the flood-induced loss of crops and the danger posed by insecurity to farming also received attention at the show.

At least eight pavilions were erected at the agric show ground with seven owned by states and one by the Nigeria Prisons Service. The states include Kano, Nassarawa, Bauchi, Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The states that didn’t erect pavilions were represented by the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) members in the state. Those states include Jigawa, katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo among others.

Category: Bauchi State News

Comments are closed.