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April 22, 2024
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Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA)

NABDA assures availability of nutritional milk through dairy cattle project

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By Sylvester Thompson

The Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has assured Nigerians of availability of nutritional milk through its long term genomic transformation of Dairy Cattle Project.

Mustapha gave the assurance on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while giving an update on the project in Abuja.

NAN reports that NABDA in collaboration with Brazil, milk producing industries in the country is carrying out the project.

The director-general, who said the project was ongoing, added that Chief Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology was taking it seriously.

“We have reached a stage where we are waiting to see government’s intervention and we are optimistic that this intervention will come soon.

“This is because we are hoping to transform the numerous cows that we have, to be producing milk for the country,’’ he said.

Mustapha recalled that the genomic transformation of Nigerian dairy cattle for milk and meat project, embarked upon by the agency, was three years old.

He explained that the project would transform the Nigerian diary industry, where it would be possible to get many litres of milk per cow.

“We started with the first generation and have inseminated another set of dams who have now conceived and hopefully, in the next six months, we will analyse them,’’ the director-general said.

He said that the first cubs consisting male and female were recently analysed using genomic sequencing, in order to understand the characters they had taken from the parents.

He said the target was to determine and distinguish the character of dairy production, after inseminating the local ones with another breed.

He added that the quantity of litres they hoped to get was what they were particular about.

According to him, with adequate funding, we hope to beat Brazil’s 25- year record which it took to transform its dairy cattle, producing 40 litres of milk per cow.

He said if it took Brazil about 25 years to transform their cattle, Nigeria would endeavour to break that record using between 15 to 20 years.

“It’s not something to start today and finish today, but with our determination, hard work and those involved in research.

“Also, with the commitment of this government for food and nutrition security, we hope that this is going to be significant,’’ Mustapha said.

According to him, when the dairy cattle transformation project is achieved, Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief in access and availability of nutritional milk.

He said with the food security agenda of President Bola Tinubu, the commitment of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology and backing from the present administration, NABDA would do more in 2024.

According to him, Nigeria will have no business importing milk after the project becomes successful. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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