Nigeria imports at least 60 per cent of dairy products the country consumes, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has said.
Mr Nanono disclosed this when speaking at the National Dairy Policy Stakeholders Engagement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said, “Despite the potentials in the dairy industry, 60 per cent of dairy products consumed in the country is imported while the remaining 40 per cent is produced locally.”
The minister said Nigeria’s per capita consumption of milk is 8 litres per year, representing very low consumption levels when compared with the global average of 44 litres of milk, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
According to him, presently, the Nigerian dairy industry is largely subsistence and consists of local milk production, importation, processing, marketing and consumption.
“There is a need to harness the potentials in the dairy sector in order to address some socio-economic and national herd management issues,” he said.
“The gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening as a result of an increase in population and urbanization.
“The consumption of aggregated and bulked milk is less than 20 per cent of the local potential.
“Nigeria’s milk production accounts for only 13 per cent of West African production and 0.01 per cent of global dairy output,” he said.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2019 said, “about 5 billion USD worth of food is imported yearly into the country out of which milk and dairy products account for $ 1.2 to 1.5 billion.
He said, therefore, there was a need to facilitate sub-sectoral growth, one that is extensive of smallholders and all key players along the value chain.
“To facilitate this growth, the ministry is presently collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI), Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the private sector, to promote and develop the local dairy industry,” he said.
“This will facilitate the process of evolving a National Dairy Policy that will articulate a clear road map and strategies for the attainment of our development aspirations in the dairy industry.
“Hence, the federal government welcomes at all times, the support, collaboration and partnerships of all concerned stakeholders towards ensuring the success of her National Food Security and economic diversification initiatives,” he said.