Agriculture: FG announces policy to reduce livestock imports and boost exports
The federal government revealed that it was developing a national dairy policy with the aim of reducing the importation of livestock and livestock products, while boosting exports to increase national revenue generation.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, who made the revelation on Tuesday, during the opening of the national newspaper’s policy validation workshop.
He added that the draft policy will support the implementation of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
What they say
The workshop, aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s dairy policy, was described as “long overdue” by the Perm Sec.
“There has been a continuous effort to achieve domestic sufficiency in dairy production to reduce the huge amount spent on importing dairy products to fill the huge gap between supply and demand.
“Successive administrations have made efforts to bridge the gap through programs such as the Dairy Development Program, the National Livestock Breed Improvement Program, among others, creating opportunities for private sector participation.
“The draft policy will support the implementation of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD),” he stated.
He added that the dairy policy will also lead the dairy industry in Nigeria where all players, regardless of their scale, will have to abide by the rules of operation, in terms of production, processing and marketing of dairy products in Nigeria, so that it reaches its final draft stage.
“This approach is to drastically reduce the import of livestock and livestock products and, at the same time, boost exports to improve national revenue generation.
“The private sector will remain in the lead while the government will provide an enabling environment through policies, infrastructure, systems control processes and oversight support,” he said.
Ms. Winnie Lai-Solarin, Director of the Department of Livestock Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, cited current problems including low milk production, poor handling and post-harvest losses of dairy products.
“The national dairy policy will provide the framework for improving the productivity of the dairy sector in a well-planned and sustainable way in the different agro-ecological zones of the country,” she said.