Dairy Research Programme
Dairy Research in NAPRI existed before the establishment of the Institute in 1976. It was when the Shika Agricultural Research Station was established in 1928. Dairy research was carried out under the Department of Cattle Husbandry and Biochemistry when the institute was decreed in 1976. Then in 1987 following the restructuring of the then Departments into Programmes, the Dairy Research Programme came into existence. Prior to 1987, research in dairy production was focused on –station and on the use of the Bunaji and crossbreeding it with the Friesian to generate crossbreds of 50% Friesian x 50% Bunaji. However, as from 1987 the trend changed and the focus shifted to on-farm and Peri-Urban Dairy Research.
- Upgrading the milk productivity of indigenous cattle through crossbreeding with exotic cattle has produced crossbred animals with a genetic potential of increasing milk yield from average of 1.5 litres in indigenous breed to up to 7.3 litres in the 50% Friesian X 50% Bunaji cows
- Formulation of dairy rations selected from locally based and available agro-industrial by-products for optimum milk production have been achieved and disseminated.
- Practical procedures for improving the nutritive value and palatability/acceptability of forages and crop residues for smallholder dairy production system have been developed and extended to farmers.
- Value addition on smallholder local processing through development of yoghurt handling utensils has been achieved and that has improved the quality (consistency, flavour and shelf-life) of the famous “NAPRI Yoghurt”.
- Sustainable generation and distribution of dairy crossbred breeding bull and heifer calves to farmers for genetic improvement of the dairy potential of their herds has been achieved
- Procedures for estimating genetic progress and factors affecting lactation curves for milk production in Nigeria have been developed
- Factors affecting the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in Nigeria have been characterized and their remedies have been identified and proffered
- Avenues for dissemination of dairy information and technologies such as training workshop, dairy farms establishment and advice, production guides/leaflets and manuals.