Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has issued a clarification in response to reports that the government intends to import grass to feed cows. “This is absolutely not true,” said the Minister in a statement.
According to the Minister, what Nigeria plans to do is to import seedlings to grow improved varieties of grass in Nigeria. He said there is no intention to import grass wholesale.
The minister has said a number of times recently that Nigeria needs improved varieties of grass, some of which can be found in Brazil and Kenya, both tropical countries sharing many attributes with Nigeria. The climatic similarities – which mean varieties of grass will have no difficulty adapting to Nigerian climate – as well as the fact that those varieties contain about 28 per cent higher crude protein, are responsible for the Minister’s decision.
“The short to medium term strategy is to improve the grass for cattle consumption, create paddocks to curb and potentially end cattle grazing in light of the serious clashes that arise and increase the protein consumed by Nigerian cows and increase protein content in grass. There is no intention to import grass and this is simply poor information. Nigeria will import grass seedlings for growing in Nigeria,” said the Minister.