By Stanley Onyekwere

In what seems to be a swift move to curtail unhygienic processing methods in milk and dairy production, the FCT Administration through its Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has engaged stakeholders on ending the menace.
To this end, Animal Health experts from the ARDS emphasized the need for Livestock farmers involved in Dairy production in the FCT, to adopt safe and hygienic production practices.
Our correspondent reports that the experts spoke at a workshop organized by the ARDS to build the capacities of Livestock farmers on modern pasteurizing techniques.
Declaring the workshop open, the Director, Administration and Finance of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwemeka expressed the concern of the FCT Administration on increase cases of diseases associated with unhygienic processing methods in milk and dairy production.
According to him, the objective of the workshop, Mr. Ibe stated is to avail participants with useful information that will help to increase output in terms quantity and quality in line with global standards.
In his words, “as government, we have the obligation of promoting public health safety of residents especially of who consumers of all Agricultural products which includes Dairy products.
“Poor handling practices can result in the contamination of your products as well as the spread of water borne diseases such as cholera, worm infestation etc.”
The ARDS boss further advised participants to ensure that their animals receive medical attention from qualified medical practitioners to vaccinate them to eliminate the risk of infection.
He disclosed that the Secretariat has deployed some of its newly employed health workers to the rural communities across the FCT.
He therefore urged stakeholders to patronise them in order to be properly guided in their activities.
On his part, a resource person, Mambo Yahaya, emphasized the need for the farmers to desist from consuming raw milk stressing that there is high risk of contamination during the process of drawing the milk from the animals.
He advised farmers as well as consumers to always boil their milt, in order to destroy harmful germs.
Earlier in her welcome Address, Mr. Edith Onyeji who represented the Director, Animal Husbandry in the Agric Secretariat, Hajiya Ummah Abubakar lamented the increasing decline in the market competitiveness of locally produced dairy products compared to the foreign products as a result of the poor quality of the products.
She said the Department of Animal Husbandry have embarked on rural outreach training programmes to enlighten farmers on simple modern milk production and handling.
According to the Director: “The response we are having from our outreach training programmes are encouraging. But we still need to do more which is why we have trained more of our health workers who will continue to step this knowledge to more farmers.
Highpoint of the occasion was practical session on milk pasteurization techniques in which all the over 200 participants took part in.