• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Nigeria spends $1.5bn yearly importing dairy products — Shettima

Nigeria spends $1.5bn yearly importing dairy products — Shettima

…unveils national dairy policy

Vice President Kashim Shettima says Africa’s most populous nation spends $1.5b annually on importation of milk and other dairy products, due to production deficit.

This was as the Federal Government, on Wednesday, unveiled the National Dairy Policy, 2023-2028 to address the deficit.

Shettima, represented by Kingsley Uzoma, the senior special assistant to the president on agribusiness and productivity enhancement, spoke at the 2024 World Milk Day celebration 2024, and the official unveiling of the National Dairy Policy which held in Abuja. The theme of the celebration was, ‘Harnessing the nutrition and investment opportunities in the dairy value chain,” organised by the federal ministry of agriculture and food security.

“Nigeria spends $1.5 billion annually importing dairy products due to a production deficit, Shettima said, adding that the country also consumes an average of 1.6 billion litres of milk and its products, but domestic production is insufficient to meet this demand.

He said that the current administration was determined to achieve national production security, with a long-term goal of exporting dairy products to other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“The National Dairy Policy is designed to serve as a roadmap for energising the dairy industry over the coming years. Its implementation will ensure improved dairy farming practices, increased investment in dairy processing and preservation, evidence-based policy implementation, enhanced collaboration, ease of business for the dairy industry, fostering public-private partnerships, embracing technology and innovation, empowering women-friendly and youth-centric business models, promoting good animal health practices, and monitoring and evaluating progress”

“World Milk Day, established in 2001 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, was created to recognise the importance of milk as a global food and the contribution of the dairy sector to various facets of our lives. Since its inception, the benefits of milk and dairy products have been actively promoted worldwide.

Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the minister of state for agriculture and food security, recalled that what existed as guiding frameworks for the Nigerian dairy industry before the maiden Livestock and Dairy Retreat in June 2016 was the Dairy Transformation Plan of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) and the National Industrial Policy of the Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investments (FMITI).

The minister said the Nigerian dairy policy provides guidelines for the development of the dairy industry in Nigeria, the improvement of livelihoods of dairy farmers and actors along the dairy value chain, the increase in national income from the dairy sector, and a reduction in the country’s dependence on imported dairy products.

Winnie Lai-Solarin, a director in a federal ministry of agriculture and food security, said that the Nigerian dairy industry was run by the Fulani pastoral farmers which later declined in the sixties due to war.