Dairy production practices at pastoral settlements of Adamawa and Taraba states, Northeastern Nigeria
Keywords:Adamawa state, Milk, milk collectors, Pastoralist, Taraba state
A survey was undertaken to investigate the dairy production practices in pastoral communities in Adamawa and Taraba states using a well-structured questionnaire. A total of 600 pastoralists in 20 local government areas (LGAs) were used in this study. Data from the questionnaires were presented in simple percentages. The survey showed that dairy pastoralists was dominated by married middle aged men (82.0%), low in literacy level (78.0%), herding local breeds of cattle (97.0%) that used rivers (91.7%) around their settlements as source of water. Most of them sale raw milk once a day (98.2%), with highest quantity during rainy season (98.3%) which was mostly used in their families as food and sale remainder (81.5%), but were willing to sale to milk collectors (62.5%). The unavailability of extension agents to assist them improves their dairy practices (89.2%) and non-membership of cooperative societies by pastoralists (82.7%) were constraints to dairy production in pastoral settlements. However, majority of pastoralists are willing to join milk cooperative society (96.6%) indicates the future development and commercialization of pastoralist milk industry is bright. Extension agents are required to enlighten on the good feeding regimens, marketing and cross breeding techniques. The result from this study indicated the need for government to exploit the potentials of improving the business and entrepreneurship skills of pastoralists through encouraging private entrepreneurs in dairy production.