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Nigeria has annual shortfall of 600,000 metric tonnes in milk requirement —Agric Minister

The Federal Government has disclosed that, the country has a shortfall of 600, 000 metric tonnes of dairy required yearly.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made the disclosure at a conference, which has the theme “Milky Way to Development,” which was hosted by Arla Foods (producers of Dano milk powder), Care Denmark, Billital Maroobe (RBM), Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture (FMARD).

Chief Ogbeh said the national dairy output is estimated at 700,000 metric tonnes, while the demand is 1,300,000, thereby leaving a shortfall of 600,000 metric tonnes.

The Minister said: “Presently, the annual national dairy output and demand are estimated at 700,000 metric tonnes and 1,300,000 metric tonnes respectively, giving a supply gap of about 600,000 metric tonnes. We are partnering with major national and international stakeholders in the dairy sector, to inject a considerable volume of locally produced raw in powdered milk processed in Nigeria, to meet the national demand and drastically reduce milk importation by the year 2019.”

However, he noted that, it was heart-warming that there has been increased flow of foreign direct investment into Nigeria’s livestock industry from different parts of the world, particularly in dairy development.

He commended the efforts of all stakeholders and solicits their continued conviction in the present government, to turn animal agriculture around for the better.

Speaking at the conference, the Vice Chairman, Arla Foods, Jan Toft Noergaard, said Arla is proud to host farmers and other stakeholders in both European and West African dairy sector.

He said: “we believe there are more feats to be achieved, with an alliance like this, I am sure things will happen faster. This conference is set to discuss and offer solution to challenges facing the dairy sector in West Africa, and development of the dairy sector, to improve the livelihood of farmers,” he said.

Also speaking, the Programme Coordinator of Care Denmark, Rolf Hernoe explained that the ‘Milky Way to Development’ is an alliance of stakeholders in the dairy industry, including dairy farmers and companies in the West African region.

“So far we have one European industrial producer and we are hoping to expand. We see this as the beginning of something bigger, we are currently discussing with ECOWAS to take a more active role in the alliance,” he said.