Stakeholders in the Nigerian cattle industry have lamented the inadequate funding in the sector and have therefore urged for more funding to spur the sector’s growth and development. At the commemoration of World Milk Day in Abuja, the president of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Baba – Othman Ngelzarma, decried the dearth of processors and procurers in several regions of the country where milk is produced. He emphasized the need for significant government’s investment in the sector with huge resources that had been neglected.
In his remark, Muhammadu Abubakar, president of the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), said that the recent approval of the National Dairy Policy by the Federal Executive Council was a major step forward in the effort to expand the dairy sector. According to him, the association’s top priority is expanding the dairy sector to provide for the people of Nigeria’s daily nutritional requirements by completely capitalizing on the country’s abundant supply of milk. He further noted that the Association’s ultimate goal is to increase demand and supply of locally produced dairy products of high quality and nutritional value.
CBN has invested over N40 billion in the sector through its CACS.
According to Baba, the Nigeria Dairy Association has regularly used the conference as a forum for gathering the various players in the Nigerian dairy ecosystem to discuss and brainstorm innovative approaches to the problem of ensuring the nation’s milk and dairy product needs are met. The Association has used the resolutions passed at various conferences to inform its policy campaigns and its dairy development initiatives. Director of the CBN’s Development Finance Department, Philip Yila Yusuf, speculated on the positive potential of this well-planned co-operation.
He pointed out that the plan is aimed at achieving the 1.1 million MT (from 600,000 MT) milk supply gap reduction through the joint goal of breed improvement and sustainable rise in milk output. As Philip explains, the CBN as part of it commitment to develop the sector has invested over N40 billion in the livestock sector through its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMElS), and Real Sector Support Facility-Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (RSSF-DCRR).
Achieving national security and self-sufficiency is a shared goal.
The World Milk Day conference is a great avenue to make new connections in the industry and find new ways to grow in a global context. This will undoubtedly open up new possibilities for self-sufficiency in the dairy industry in Nigeria by providing access to more feasible and sustainable finance solutions. While acknowledging that achieving national security and self-sufficiency is a shared goal, he stressed the importance of bolstering collaboration with local and international development partners to get there.
Ernest Umakhihe, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and rural development asserted that the Ministry is underway with empowerment and capacity building projects for dairy farmers in areas such as hygienic milk production and processing, as well as construction of pasture gathering stations. According to him, other initiatives of the ministry include setting up feed-milling facilities to produce ruminant feeds, animal handling centers and milk collection centers in regions with a comparative advantage for dairy.
FMARD will be offering financial empowerment to producers.
To boost the nutritional status of Nigerians, he said the bank would continue to provide an enabling environment for increased milk production, processing, distribution, and consumption, create jobs along the dairy value chain, and decrease national expenditure on the importation of milk and milk products. Additionally, he mentioned that the Bank of Agriculture, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), will be offering financial empowerment to livestock producers in order to increase their productivity and resilience.