Nigeria to begin milk exportation within Africa — Shettima

Nigeria to begin milk exportation, internal displacement in Nigeria, market
Vice President Kashim Shettima has reiterated the commitment of President Bola Tinubu-led government to explore the potentials in Nigeria’s dairy subsector to begin exportation of milk within the African continent under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Vice President stated this at the Unveiling of the National Dairy Policy Document as part of the activities to mark this year’s World Milk Day.

Represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Agribusiness and Productivity Enhancement), Dr Kingsley Uzoma, Shettima lamented that Nigeria spends $1.5 billion annually on importing dairy products due to a production deficit while it consumes an average of 1.6 billion litres of milk and its products, but domestic production is insufficient to meet this demand.

He however said that the National Dairy Policy is designed to serve as a roadmap for energizing the dairy industry over the coming years.

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

“The National Dairy Policy is designed to serve as a roadmap for energizing the dairy industry over the coming years. Its implementation will ensure improved dairy farming practices, increased investment in dairy processing and preservation, evidence-based policy implementation, enhanced collaboration, ease of business for the dairy industry, fostering public-private partnerships, embracing technology and innovation, empowering women-friendly and youth-centric business models, promoting good animal health practices, and monitoring and evaluating progress”, VP Shettima.

Furthermore, he stated that the potential in Nigeria’s dairy sector is reflected in significant investments from both local and international firms. The VP said companies like Friesland WAMCO and Danone’s Fan Milk have launched extensive backward integration projects with the aim of boosting local milk production and fostering a strong market for dairy products, reducing the need for imports and enhancing food and nutritional security.

“Those involve setting up state-of-the-art dairy farms and processing facilities, creating thousands of jobs and promoting local economic development. Comprehensive development strategies are crucial to overcoming the challenges faced by the Nigerian dairy industry While the Federal Government led by His Excellency Mr President will continue to support such laudable efforts by sustaining an enabling environment for the sustainable inflow of much-needed capital and technology transfer, we know not to rest on our oars. Greater investment in the sector and better regulatory frameworks are essential to support growth and impact at scale”, he noted.

“Additionally, investments in technology and innovation can streamline operations and boost productivity, while public-private partnerships can facilitate access to finance and resources while derisking long-term commitments to the sector. By focusing on these strategic investments, stakeholders can unlock the full potential of the dairy value chain, creating a robust and sustainable industry that meets domestic demand and positions Nigeria as a leading dairy producer in Africa

“The transformation of Nigeria’s dairy sector is not just a necessity but a collective responsibility. It requires the concerted efforts of the government, private sector, and all stakeholders to harness the nutrition and investment opportunities in a sustainable dairy value chain. By working together, we can ensure that the dairy industry continues to thrive, providing quality nutrition, creating jobs, achieving food security and driving economic growth in Nigeria, Shettima added.

Presenting the highlights of the National Dairy Policy, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abdullahi Sabi the policy would facilitate the creation of an enabling and supportive environment, job creation and import reduction, milk production targets, and milk collection centres.

Furthermore, he said the policy will also facilitate cooperative business structures, massive investments, import reduction, improved nutrition, capacity-building and support for livestock farmers, financial empowerment, product development and sustainability.

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