Nigeria spends about N1.5bn annually on imported dairy products to meet the nation’s demand, as the country only produces less than 20 per cent of her diary needs, and the industry is largely subsistence and consists of local milk production.
As a result of the poor production, the country is far from meeting national sufficiency in dairy production and therefore spends such huge amount on importation of dairy products to bridge the huge gap between supply and demand.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono disclosed this at the National Diary Policy Stakeholders Engagement in Abuja.
The minister said there was need to harness the potential in diary sector in order to address some socio-economic and national herd management issues.
He said: “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 0.01per cent of global dairy output.
“The gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening as a result of increase in population and urbanisation.
“The per capita consumption of milk is eight litres per year representing very low consumption levels when compared with the global averages of 44 litres of milk (FAOSTAT, 2019). Consequently, the long neglect of the livestock sector has put a lot of burden on the import bills of the country.
“About $5billion worth of food is imported yearly into the country out of which milk and dairy products account for $1.2-1.5 billion (according to Central Bank of Nigeria 9CBN) 2019). Hence, the annual dairy consumption is met by 60 per cent imports and 40 per cent local production,” he said.
He said there is need to foster sub-sectoral growth that is inclusive of smallholders and all key players along the value chain.
“This requires the buy-in of national and multinational stakeholders. 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), CBN, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the private sector to promote and develop the local dairy industry.
“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,” the minister added.