There are so many donor-funded agricultural projects in Nigeria; some doing similar things in the same state.
But the dairy subsector is described as a donor orphan because most intervention programme Target Crops with few on fishery and other livestock.
Dr Audu Grema, Programme Officer, Agriculture of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently Advanced Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN) programme, targeting 190,000 litres of milk per day. He lamented lack of donor-funded programme on dairy.
But Dr. Celestine Ayok, a dairy market consultant and producer of spring brand of yogurt, who owns a factory in Kaduna, explains why donor agencies shy away from dairy.
The dairy expert said one of the major reasons is that the beneficiaries of the dairy programme, who are mostly the pastoralists are quite difficult to convince mostly because of cultural issues.
“Secondly, even if you start an intervention on dairy with the pastoralists, without notice, they will move and once they move, that means your intervention has been dislocated.
“Thirdly, any intervention that has to do with dairy is capital intensive and my strong feeling is that those donor agencies try to shy away because they want quick results. For dairy, the result is not quick. You have to wait for quite a while. For crops, within three months you start to see the result but for dairy, it takes nothing less than six months or one year,” Dr Ayok said.
Aside the lack of donor funding project, Dr Grema highlighted areas that are of critical concern in the country’s dairy industry.
He said the diary productivity is very low (less than 2 litres per day) compare to most countries. Of most concern is the apparent huge challenge getting the Artificial Insemination (AI) extension on pre and post insemination services for improved cattle breeds.
Dr Grema said the effort must be channeled to three key areas which include the genetic improvement of breeds, development of the right blend of feeds that can change the narrative and the need for a market development approach in the subsector.
Sahel steps in
Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, a leading, management consulting firm, has launched the Advancing Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN) programme targeting 190,000 litres of milk per day.
The programme, which was launched Thursday in Abuja by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, seeks to reach 60,000 dairy farmers in 15,000 households in Adamawa, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Plateau States.
The new initiative will be implemented in partnership with private sector companies with the support of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Women Affairs and Social Development and the governments of participating states.
The National Team Leader, ALDDN, Mr Ernest Ihedigbo, said the programme would help integrate farmers, especially women, to be better organised, trained and equipped to control and manage their dairy businesses.