FG Launches National Diary Policy to Attain Self-sufficiency

Dike Onwuamaeze

The federal government has launched the National Dairy Policy (NDP) 2023- 2028 that would guide both public and private sectors’ investments in the Nigerian dairy industry for the attainment of self- sufficiency in milk production and global competitiveness.

The official unveiling of the NAP’s document was performed by the Vice President Kashim Shettima at the NAF Conference Centre, in Abuja, as part of the activities that marked the 2024 World Milk Day with the theme “Harnessing the Nutrition and Investment Opportunities in a Sustainable Dairy Value Chain.”

Shettima, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Agribusiness and productivity Enhancement), Dr. Kingsley Uzoma, stated that the objective of the federal government in launching the NAP is to transform the dairy industry in Nigeria by addressing key obstacles such as the lack of modern global best practices for cross-breeding and calving, midstream challenges, amongst others.

He said: “Currently, Nigeria spends $1.5 billion annually on importing dairy products due to a production deficit, Nigerians consume an average of 1.6 billion liters of milk and its products, but domestic production is insufficient to meet this demand.”

Shettima reiterated that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is determined to achieve national production security, with the longer term goal of exporting dairy products to other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Speaking during the unveiling of the policy, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, said that the NAP 2023-2028 is not the first time Nigeria would be launching a dairy policy.

He discussed the evolution of the dairy industry framework, noting that the Dairy Transformation Plan and the National Industry Policy were key outcomes of the 2016 maiden Livestock and Dairy Retreat.

The Director of Animal Husbandry Services, Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin, provided a historical overview of Nigeria’s dairy industry, tracing its practices back to the 19th century with Fulani pastoralists and other ethnic groups.

She also discussed current challenges and opportunities, such as improving access to finance, technology, and training for smallholder farmers, and infrastructure development for milk collection.  

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