The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to reduce the importation of dairy products, scale up its local production as well as marketing in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, made the disclosure, at the opening of the National Diary Policy Validation workshop in Abuja.
The workshop which was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, aim to harvest the inputs of relevant stakeholders for the purpose of enriching the National Diary Policy for Nigeria.
Umakhihe described the National Dairy Policy as apt and articulate, which is in accordance with the vision of the Federal Government for the dairy industry.
“This meeting cannot come at a better time than now because a National Policy for dairy and dairy products in Nigeria is long overdue. There has been a continuous drive towards meeting national sufficiency in dairy production to reduce the huge amount spent on importation of dairy products in order to bridge the huge gap between supply and demand,” said the PS.
He further noted that successive Administrations had made efforts to close the gap through programmes such as Dairy Development Programme, National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme, among others thus creating opportunity for private sector participation. The draft policy will support the implementation of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
“This effort at putting in place a National Dairy Policy for the country is apt for the realisation of the vision of the Federal Government articulated through the change approach and a standard practice to be applied at every level of society, public and private, towards a pragmatic national development,” said Umakhihe.
According to him this approach is to significantly reduce importation of livestock and livestock products and at the same time stimulate exports to enhance national income generation. The private sector will remain in the lead while the government will provide the enabling environment through policies, infrastructure, systems control processes and oversight support.