By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) Shika, Zaria has obtained an approval to introduce equine (Horses, Camels and donkeys) research.
The Director of the institute Professor Abdullahi Kolo Muhammad who made this known to newsmen in an interview said the approval was given at the National Council of Agriculture meeting in Sokoto.
He said, the council observed that the number of donkeys was depleting, subsequently the Federal Ministry Agriculture declared donkey as an endangered species due to high haulage of the animal from Northern to Southern part of the country.
The Director noted that the Northern governor’s had since banned consumption of donkeys but the order was not complied within many states.
According to him, some Northern part of Nigeria was termed as donkeys producing states while some South-eastern states are termed as the consuming states.
Professor Kolo added that, another reason why the number of donkeys was depleting at such alarming rate was due to the Chinese involvement.
The Chinese require the skin of the donkeys for their traditional medicine and donkey skin is relatively expensive in China for that reason.
The Director said Federal Government has assigned the institute to do something towards improving the production of donkeys in the country.
“NAPRI is collaborating ACTWILL Nigeria Limited for establishing donkeys ranches in Toro, Bauchi State and Ebonyi State”.
The Director said donkey takes about 13 months to conceive and deliver while the rate of consumption was high and there was no much farmers/growers of the donkey.
He said NAPRI has established donkeys preservation and reproduction unit and the institute has started with 26 donkeys, but presently the institute is having more than 100 donkeys and plans are under way to expand the number soon.