*Urges Personnel To Engage In Agric Value-Chain
The President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s bid to ensure Nigeria becomes self sufficient in food production got a further boost as the Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, announced its foray into animal production in the agricultural value chain.
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said the Nigerian Army plans to establish ranches in almost all its divisions and brigades to rear cattle and enhance the nation’s beef production.
Speaking at the Commissioning of Mogadishu Cantonment’s new mammy market (former Abacha Barracks), Abuja, Buratai said beyond cattle rearing, he has created the Barrack Investment Initiative. This would serve as platform for family members of Army personnel to own fish ponds, vegetable gardens, fruits, livestock, chicken and their eggs.
The cattle rearing initiative, according to Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Army Logistics, Major General Patrick Akem, informed the decision to send a delegation to Argentina, to learn modern cattle rearing techniques.
PR Nigeria reports Buratai as noting that “Argentina has a population of 41 million people, but it feeds about 400 million people around the world with its beef.
“To take it to the next level, we want to adopt a system where the cattle are not just free ranging coming from Sokoto to Port Harcourt, thereby making their meat tough to eat, the products will soon be coming from our own farms and ranches,” he said.
He added: “We want to tell our wives that they can live beyond the salaries of their husbands, so we are trying to empower the women in the barracks to be able to form co-operatives, so as to access loans and to a large extent be able to fend for themselves and their families, even without the salaries of their husbands.”
Meanwhile, the Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Major General John Malu, said that the shopping complex had over 2000 shops, 27 warehouses and a printing press, owned by the Nigerian Navy.
He added that a reputable private security firm has been contracted to manage the security of the market.