The Federal Government, Tuesday, disclosed approval of a National Dairy Policy to guide operations in the dairy value chain following the long neglect of the Nigerian dairy subsector and several conflicts that have impacted it.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, while speaking on the forthcoming 2023 World Milk Day commencing from May 31- June 1, with the theme ‘Sustainable Dairy: Good for Planet, Good for You’.
Abubakar said the policy was necessary to ensure a stable and sustainable dairy sector that would give livestock farmers a sense of belonging and to reduce the protracted conflict between farmers and herders, and to drive massive investments in the industry to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians.
According to him, the 2023 World Milk Day celebration will feature lectures, discussions, exhibitions and Children’s programmes including a guided tour of the dairy exhibition stands for the children all addressing this year’s theme. All the events will take place at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry complex, along Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja, FCT, from 31st May to 1st June 2023.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development jointly celebrates World Milk Day with the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria, CODARAN, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industries, ACCI; SAHEL Consulting and Nutrition Nigeria Ltd, Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria, ACAN, and Centre for Journalism and Innovation Development, CJID.
He said: “Our celebrations and interventions in the dairy value chain have positively impacted the sector and elicited an upsurge in dairy activities in Nigeria as evidenced by the huge number of requests for collaboration from a wide range of 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, looking inwards and developing our indigenous dairy industry in line with the present administration’s policy on local content.
“The Ministry will also use the opportunity of World Milk Day to coordinate focused discussions on Dairy Development in Nigeria from the views of industry experts in Finance, Agribusiness, environment and other related areas who will deliver papers and participate in discussions following which a communique will be issued at the end of the event.
“The Ministry, just like other partners, will use the opportunity of the event to showcase her achievements in milk production, collection, processing and transportation as well as enlighten Nigerians on achievements of National programmes on Pasture Development, Animal Feed and Feed Security, Breeding and Conservation, Dairy Development, among others under the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
“Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Bank of Agriculture will be providing financial empowerment to livestock farmers to enhance their productivity and resilience.
“I am also happy to inform you all that the Federal Executive Council has approved the National Dairy Policy for Nigeria to guide operations in the Dairy Value Chain.”
Meanwhile, he said the Minister said the dairy industry will continue to receive support to boost production of quality milk, meat and other products.
He also highlighted some of the impacts the Ministry had made in the dairy farmers, which include capacity building and empowerment on hygienic milk production and processing; Construction and equipping of 13 milk collection centres in Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kwara, Niger and Plateau States; Capacity building on pasture production, processing and conservation; and others.
Meanwhile, in a remark, the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, said the dairy industry needs to unite for greater productivity by leveraging on the 2023 World Milk Day event.
Abubakar who was represented by the Director General, ACCI, Victoria Akai, said, “Through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s backward integration, the dairy sector was revitalized and has attracted foreign investment and creation of ranches across the country.
“This celebration will be a two-day event with the first day, the 31st of May 2023, playing host to over 20 selected public and private schools, and the second day will be the conference for stakeholders in the dairy industry, while the exhibition will run throughout the event at the Abuja Trade and Convention Center of ACCI.
“At the ACCI, we serve as a voice for the business community and also provide a platform for policy makers and the organized private sector to interface and map out practicable ways to implement policies, making this event very important especially at a time like this when we are having a new administration.
“We enjoin all stakeholders in the dairy sector to take advantage of this event jointly organised by our Chamber, FMARD, CODARAN, others, come together and make it worthwhile. The success of this event will help us build a stronger relationship for the future.”
Also in a goodwill message, the Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition, Temi Adegoroye, said that the dairy industry remains our focus of development.
In a remark, the National President, Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria, CODARAN, Dianabasi Akpainyang, commended Federal Government over the approval of the National Dairy Policy, and added that the Association in the past had collaborations with Government Ministries, and also promised to sustain the collaborations ahead of the World Milk Day and after.
Akpainyang also urged dairy ranchers in the country to support the government’s effort in order to have a competitive and productive dairy subsector.