Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Aregbesola Launches 10,000-capacity Cattle Ranch (O’Beef), Berates Under-utilization of Resources

Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the weekend launched a cattle ranch where a new agro-based industry is emerging. The 78.8 hectares, 10,000-capacity cattle ranch is aimed at meeting the beef demand of the State of Osun as well as the entire South-West when fully operational. The Governor said the beef fa

rm would boost self-reliance in food production as well as create economic bases and job opportunities for our people.

At the commissioning of the Osun Beef Production outfit (O’Beef) ranch located at Oloba Farm Settlement in Iwo, he said it was primarily targeted at boosting agriculture, meat and food production, food processing and mass agro-based employment. It is also part of a plan to assist livestock farmers to improve milk and meat production, saying, plans are afoot to establish similar but lager ranches in Ede (400 hectares) and Ejigbo (1,000 hectares). Land has been acquired for this purpose and the location would have grazing reserves and cattle hub – including markets, feed mills. The grazing reserves will help us to tackle the recurring feud between the Fulani pastoralists and the crop farmers usually caused as a result of cattle grazing on farms.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola has declared that the country would remain poor despite the huge income from crude oil as long as the leaders fail to properly utilise the income to generate employment.

Speaking at the Education Conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) held in Osogbo, he stated that it was an illusion to claim that the country is rich.
The governor said: “As a government we must be able to produce the food we eat. A government cannot be said to be good if it is incapable of feeding its own people. In Lagos alone, about 6,000 cattle are slaughtered daily in the abattoirs, while the remaining five South-West States combined conservatively accounts for another 6,000 based on their total population, no state in South-West produces a single one. All these animals come from the North. We intend to target just 10 per cent of the Lagos market. The governor described the potential of the beef market in the Southwest as huge, adding that it could not be waved aside by any visionary government.”

“This translates to a huge N4.4 billion per annum. This huge market demand for beef, the governor argued, carries the potential to empower the state and the entire Southwest people economically through wealth creation.”

For a start, the ranch, which is being managed by a South African expert in conjunction with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, has 1,500 cattle sourced locally. The farm is being run with the technical direction of foreign Technical Partners from Zambia and South Africa.
According to the Governor, 30 foreign species of cattle called the Zambian Boran, would be introduced to the ranch with a view to genetically crossbreeding them with local ones to get new indigenous species.

When fully in operation, the ranch, which will be run on public private partnership basis, will have modern abattoir that offers services to the people at a lower rate.

It is the objective of this administration in the State of Osun to create the enabling environment that will make this happen.

“We will be dedicating and developing hundreds of hectares of land into grazing reserves, cattle markets, breeding centres, and fattening hubs. This will be in addition to the new central abattoirs that we are developing in selected towns across the state,” Aregbesola said.

It is against this backdrop that the government began a study of the process to come up with a programme that will be indigenous to the state and the region. In February 2011, this assignment took them to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ibadan, where they discussed about building partnerships to help the state develop a robust framework for implementing an innovative programme that focuses on Beef Chain Development in Osun. What came out of the interactions between the Osun team and the ILRI is the abattoir-linked enterprises that include fattening, breeding and marketing activities.

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