Nigeria spends over $1.3bn annually on milk import

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The Federal Government says the country still spends over $1.3 billion annually on importation of diary products like milk, yogurt and cheese.

Bello Umar, permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Nigeria still produced a paltry 50,000 litres daily for consumption, less than 20 percent of local potential.

Umar speaking at the 4th Global Dairy Congress Africa, titled ‘Accelerating Investment and Cooperation of Dairy in Africa,’ in Abuja Thursday, stressed that the country produced only 13 percent in West Africa and 0.01 percent of global dairy.

Represented by the director, Department of Animal Husbandry Services, Bright Wategire, he said, “Despite its huge cattle population, Nigeria’s milk production falls short of its demand. And the annual import of milk and other dairy products is currently estimated at $1.3 billion with the majority of the national herds owned mostly by smallholder and peri-urban cattle farmers.

“Access to inputs and cows of proven genetic quality also constitute a major constraint due to rudimentary status of the Nigeria dairy value chain, and may constitute a potential area of veritable investments for discerning stakeholders.”

To tackle some of the snags, Umar disclosed that government had commenced the development of a national dairy policy that would articulate a clear road map “for our development aspirations and strategies involving broad spectrum stakeholders and multinationals.”

Ben Langat, managing director, FC WAMCO, producer of Peak Milk, in his remark, advised the inclusiveness of access roads construction, provision of clean water, electricity and stamping out of insecurity in the proposed policy plan, would attract investors to broaden the sector.

He said, “The main problem is infrastructure. You cannot do anything without access roads, electricity, water and security. Once you have all these in place the private sector will be able to play. We … Read More...