The Federal Government said it has constituted a stakeholder’s committee to develop a policy framework to boost the dairy industry.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and investment Hajia Aisha Abubakar, said that the objective is to attract and achieve local participation in the dairy business; ensure local content development of dairy; encourage joint venture opportunities across strategic segments of the dairy industry and provide financial relief to boost local growth through the participation of women and youths in the sector.
While addressing the stakeholders who were drawn from government agencies, the banking industry and the dairy sector, the Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpa, urged the stakeholders to bear on the work of the committee so as to develop a roadmap that will move the production of dairy products in Nigeria from its current state to rank among the biggest dairy producers in the world.
The Minister added that the industry was capable of producing millions of jobs and generating about N300bn monthly into the country’s coffers if the right technology and infrastructure were deployed. Hajia Abubakar said that about $1.3bn was been spent annually on the importation of dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and other milk derivatives.
She said that as the population increases so will the consumption. The Minister lamented that available data shows that there are 19.5m cattle in the country, of which 85% are owned by individuals and managed by indigenous small holder, subsistence and nomadic herdsmen, while the rest are held by medium and large scale farmers in managed pastures.
Members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Raw Materials, Research and Development Council and the National Animal Production Research Institute.
Others are: Nigeria Customs Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Private Sector groups such the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), Friesland Campina WAMCO, PROMASIDOR, Arla Foods as well as L&Z Integrated Farms.
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