Nigeria spends about $1.3 billion yearly on the importation of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and other milk derivatives despite her potential to rake in an estimate of N3.6 trillion ($10 billion) annually from exports of the products, according to Aisha Abubakar, minister of state for industry, trade and investment
Speaking at a stakeholders committee on the development of policy framework to boost the dairy industry, the minister said the dairy industry has huge potentials in terms of massive job creation and the generation of N300 billion monthly for the country, noting that the domestic consumption of dairy products was bound to increase further with Nigeria’s growing population.
She said the committee was inaugurated as part of efforts to diversify the economy and increase local production in sectors where Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantages.
She said the objectives and policy framework of the committee are to attract and achieve local participation in dairy business; ensure the local content development of dairy; encourage joint venture opportunities across strategic segments of the dairy business and provide financial relief to boost local growth through the participation of women and youths in the sector.
Abubakar lamented that 85 percent of Nigeria’s 19.5 million cattle are owned and managed by smallholder, subsistent and nomadic herdsmen, leaving the remaining 15 percent in the hands of medium and large-scale farmers in managed pastures.
Members of the committee were drawn from the federal ministry of industry, trade, and investment; federal ministry of agriculture and rural development; Raw Materials, Research and Development Council and the National Animal Production Research Institute.