CEM REPORT, AGROFOOD | The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Dairy Policy meant to guide operations in the dairy sub-sector value chain, boost livestock production, and reduce attacks on farmers by herders.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this at a media briefing in preparation for the 2023 World Milk Day, a UN event set from May 31 to June 1.
He said the policy is also aimed to drive massive investments in the industry, create jobs and ultimately wealth for Nigerians.
“the policy was necessary to ensure a stable and sustainable dairy sector, that would give livestock farmers a sense of belonging. It also reduces the protracted conflict between farmers and herders,” he added.
The Minister noted that this year’s milk day theme will be ‘Sustainable Dairy: Good for Planet, Good for You.”
He stated that the theme speaks directly to the need for deliberate efforts to make milk production, collection, and processing climate-smart.
Abubakar said that since the federal government began its invention programs in the sector, it has elicited an upsurge in dairy activities in Nigeria.
“This is evidenced by the huge number of requests for collaboration from stakeholders in the industry and increased interest in the development of the dairy sector.
“This is also a pointer to the positive impact the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and its partners have made in intensifying the need for backward integration.
“As well as looking inwards and developing our indigenous dairy industry in line with the present administration’s policy on local content.”
The minister, who enumerated some of the initiatives to scale up milk production, collection and processing in the country, said tremendous progress has been made in various programmes such as national programmes on pasture development, animal feed and feed security, breeding and conservation, dairy development, among others under the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
He mentioned some of the achievements in the dairy value chain to include: “Capacity building and empowerment programmes for dairy farmers on hygienic milk production and processing in Bauchi and Plateau States.
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“Construction and equipping of 13 milk collection centres, two each in Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kwara, Niger and Plateau States. These milk collection centres are awaiting handing over to milk processors.
“Capacity building on pasture production, processing and conservation in two locations each in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe States.
“Procurement of six Pasture Transportation equipment and six grass choppers for two locations each in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe States.
“Establishment of 90ha commercial pasture plots (15ha each) and 12ha pilot homestead pasture plots (2ha each) in Adamawa, Bauchi, Kwara, Kaduna, Gombe and Niger States.
“Construction and equipping of 12 feed-milling facilities for the production of ruminant feed in Adamawa, Bauchi, Kwara, Kaduna, Gombe and Niger States and Provision of Milk Cooling Truck and Generator to support milk production in Kano Dairy Cooperative Society.
“Support for Artificial Insemination of dairy cows to improve milk production and breeds of cattle under the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP) in Kano, Taraba, Plateau, Niger, Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Osun States and FCT.”
Abubakar added that the nation’s dairy industry would continue to receive support to boost the production of quality milk, meat, and other products.
He further noted that the Agric Ministry through the Bank of Agriculture, would provide financial empowerment to livestock farmers to enhance their productivity and resilience, citing that Nigeria’s dairy industry would continue to receive support to boost the production of quality milk, meat, and other products.
In his remarks, the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, said through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) backward integration programme, the dairy sector was revitalised and has attracted foreign investments and the creation of ranches across the country.
Abubakar represented by Director-General of ACCI, Victoria Akai, said the two-day event would play host to over 20 selected public and private schools in Abuja, together with other critical stakeholders.