Nigeria Consumes 1.6 Billion Litres of Milk Annually, Says Agriculture Minister

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Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, announced that Nigerians consume an estimated 1.6 billion litres of milk and dairy products annually. He made this statement during a news conference on Saturday in Abuja to mark the 2024 World Milk Day.

Abdullahi highlighted that 60 percent of these dairy products are imported. World Milk Day, celebrated globally on June 1, focuses this year on the theme: “Let’s Celebrate Nutritious and Sustainable Dairy.” For Nigeria, the theme is: “Harnessing the Nutrition and Investment Opportunities in the Dairy Value Chain.”

Abdullahi emphasized the importance of dairy in providing quality nutrition, especially for women and children, and in enhancing the livelihoods of dairy farmers and value chain actors. He noted that the dairy sector also contributes significantly to employment and economic growth.

The minister revealed that Nigeria spends $1.5 billion annually on dairy imports due to a production deficit of nearly 60 percent. He outlined President Bola Tinubu’s vision for achieving national production security and potentially exporting dairy products to African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“Speedy actions to transform the livestock sector, especially the dairy value chain, toward attaining food and nutrition security are not only imperative but an urgent national duty,” Abdullahi stated.

The Federal Government is aware of the key issues and challenges in the dairy sector and is committed to reversing the industry’s negative state. Abdullahi assured that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is prepared to tackle these challenges and renew hope for dairy value chain actors.

The ministry, in collaboration with national and international partners, will work within the framework of the newly approved National Dairy Policy to improve dairy farming practices. This includes enhancing the capacity of smallholder dairy farmers through training and extension services.

Projects will focus on best practices in animal husbandry, feed management, milk production, handling, and collection.

In a goodwill message, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar, President of the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), expressed satisfaction with the attention milk is receiving globally and nationally. He reiterated CODARAN’s commitment to producing, processing, marketing, and consuming quality and nutritious dairy products across Africa.

Temi Adegoroyo, Managing Partner at Sahel Consulting Ltd, appreciated the collaboration between the firm and the ministry in developing Nigeria’s local dairy sector. “We are ensuring that we link more private companies to smallholder farmers and build a responsive fresh milk supply chain in Nigeria. The agenda is to increase the productivity of fresh milk in Nigeria,” Adegoroyo said.

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