The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said it is working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to produce a National Dairy Policy aimed at reducing the importation of dairy products.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, disclosed this on Tuesday at a two-day “Dairy Policy Validation Workshop” in Abuja, adding that a National Dairy Policy was long overdue.
Dr Umakhihe explained that there had 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, adding that, “I’m glad that we are gradually approaching the stage of finalising the draft document by this validation workshop. Policy development of this nature takes series of steps to arrive at the desired end of meeting the aspirations of all stakeholders that would directly and indirectly be affected by its operation.
“This effort put in place is apt for the realisation of the vision of the federal government articulated through the change approach and the standard practice to be applied at every level of society, public and private towards a pragmatic national development.”
The permanent secretary restated the commitment of the ministry to ensure that the policy came into full operation in order to benefit the nation and reduce particularly the importation of dairy products and stimulate export to enhance national income generation.
He further said, “The private sector will remain in the lead while the government will provide enabling environment through policies, infrastructure, systems control processes and oversight support”
Also speaking, the Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited said, “The development of the National Dairy policy has come at a time it’s needed; it is necessary to guide public and private sector interventions and investments for the growth of the local dairy industry and global competitiveness.
“The development of a policy document for the dairy sector is at the heart of the key objectives of the advancing local dairy development programme in Nigeria which aims to catalyse a vibrant local dairy sector in an inclusive way with strong policy advocacy to improve the livelihood productivity and nutritional of small dairy producers in Nigeria.”