By Ogaga Ariemu
Executive Director of Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), Mr Dianabasi Akpainyang, has reinterated the need for National Diary Policy implementation in Nigeria to upscale local production and increase revenue generation.
This comes in view of the alarming rate of importation of diary products into Nigeria.
Citing the Central Bank of Nigeria, Akpainyang, who exclusively spoke with Nigerian NewsDirect said as at 2020, Nigeria spent $1.5 billion dollars in importing milk into the country. “If our dairy sector has been well developed that huge amount would have been made by indigenous practitioners.” he noted.
According to him, the local dairy production only meets 40% of Nigeria’s demands while 60% of local consumption is met by importation hence the call to scale up local production.
Akpainyang revealed that a draft of National Diary Policy document have been proposed to help Nigeria achieve self sufficiency in diary production and fissile out importation.
He said the policy document which is still in drafting stage and awaiting validation by the Fedeal Executive Council (FEC) in October will deal with all aspects of Nigeria’s diary industry. From the Production, Animal Breeding, Importation of equipment, trade aspect, tariff, duties, financing options on the side of government and the private sector.
“With this policy, we would have less of importation. The goal of the policy is meant to catalize production and activities in the local sector. We believe if that happens the local diary sector would improve in terms of capability and we would have less importation.” he explained.
He further explained that currently 95% of local production in the diary industry is handled by small holders farmers while the other 5% is handled by commercial producers who are mainly indigenous. He said 90% of the processing is dominated by the Multi-National Companies.
He also noted that Nigeria needs massive investment in production and mainstream sectors of the diary industry to attain sufficiency.
“Even the multinationals are depending on imported milk because they are unable to get enough milk from the local sector. The policy would help address the issue of infrastructure, logistics, storage and equipment which serve as major hindrances to the increase in local diary production.”
According to him, one of the provision of the policy is that a diary development fund will be created in Nigeria so that a 50% tariffs received from importation of diary products is channeled into the funds for the development of the diary industry.
“The policy talks about setting up a diary board that would help manage the fund to develop the midstream sector of the diary industry so that more Nigeria can have access to milk and process as well”, he concluded.
The Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN) is the apex association of Nigerian dairy value chain operators, covering commercial dairy producers and processors, ranch operators, and small, medium and large-scale dairy farmers.