ECOWAS Trains Rural Nigerian Women on Milk Processing17 Aug, 2020
Nigeria continues to benefit from the drive by ECOWAS to empower the region’s vulnerable groups in a bid to make citizens earn a decent learning through skills acquisition.
One of such skills acquisition initiatives is the training for rural and vulnerable women on the processing of milk as well as the making of yogurt at Duku Rugga, Beinin Kebbi local government area of Kebbi state, Nigeria.
During a tour of the Duku Rugga milk processing plant, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Sekou Sangare, represented by the Program Officer, Regional Animal Health Center (RAHC) Dr Fouad Mohammed stressed the need to empower the vulnerable population through skills acquisition in the various fields which can have direct impact on the livelihoods and economy of the areas where such initiatives are domiciled.
The Duku Rugga plant is supported by the Mallpai foundation, an initiative of the wife of the Kebbi State Governor Hajia Aisha Atiku Bagudu who was represented at the tour by the State Commissioner for Animal Health, Hon Aminu Garba Dandiga.
Mr. Dandiga used the opportunity to make disclosures regarding the collaboration of the state government with ECOWAS through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (ARAA) and the Association for the Promotion of Livestock in the Sahel and Savannah (APESS).
According to him, apart from the establishment of the diary plant, the Kebbi state government is also supporting the targeted group with needed equipment, solar refrigerators as well as watering points to help pastoralists and those in dairy production systems. The expectation also is for the yogourt producers to be patronised by the government for the school feeding programme.
The Yogurt from the plant, is produced hygienically with a sanitised udder, while the milk is filtered and pasteurised before necessary condiments are added and then fermented. The women are also taught how to keep out the pests.
After a demonstration of the processing and safe production methods, one of the beneficiaries of the scheme Hajari Idris thanked her benefactors and pledged that the skills will be put to the utmost use in order to boost their income and reduce poverty in the area.
The yogourt production skill acquisition training is part of the strategy by APESS and ARAA to promote social safety nets in the region. In addition to Nigeria, three other countries have been targeted by APESS for similar actions, namely Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea Bissau, still with the financial support of the Spanish Cooperation (AECID).