The Federal Government has announced that it is working on a National Dairy Policy with the goal of reducing importation of livestock and livestock products, and at the same time stimulating exports to boost national income generation.
This was made known by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, at the opening of the National Diary Policy Validation workshop.
He added that 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.
The workshop, with the aim of boosting Nigeria’s Dairy Policy, was described as “long overdue” by the Perm Sec.
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.
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)
He added that the Dairy Policy will also drive Nigeria’s dairy industry where all players at whatever scale will be expected to abide by rules of operation, in terms of production, processing and marketing of dairy products in Nigeria, as it reaches its final draft stages.
Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin, the Director, Department of Animal Husbandry Services, Ministry of Agriculture, cited current issues which include, low milk yield, poor handling and post-harvest losses of dairy products.
The National Dairy Policy will give the framework for improving the productivity of the dairy sector in a well-planned and sustainable manner across the various agro-ecological zones of the country,”
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