World Food Day: Nigeria to ban importation of milk in 2022 ― Agric Minister
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has said that Nigeria would ban the importation of milk in the country in two years time.
The Minister wondered why a country with a livestock asset of N33 trillion and about 25 million cows would continue to import about 1.8 billion litres of milk which it consumes annually.
Alhaji Nanono disclosed during a press conference marking this year’s World Food Day celebration.
He said: “We have a livestock industry with an asset of nearly N33 trillion, we are planning in this Ministry watch my word, in the next 2 years, we will ban importation milk in this country because we have 25 million cows in this country, we consume 5 million litres per day”.
Furthermore, the Minister said efforts were being made by the government to eradicate hunger and poverty through a robust food production system.
He, however, said to boost food production, Nigeria curbed imports which consequently increased rice production, thereby placing the country as the largest producer of rice in Africa.
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“As a nation, we consider the relevance of eradicating poverty and hunger and transforming our food production systems to ensure sustainable food security. Significant progress has therefore been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration.
“To boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and has established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home.
“Efforts in this direction are starting to show results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of Rice. The country is also the largest producer of cassava in the world.
“A range of policies and initiatives to strengthen the rice and cassava value chains have been put in place. The economic potentials of both livestock and fisheries are also being harnessed and respective value chains selected and targeted for development”, he noted.
He said in an attempt to diversify the economy, the Federal Government has continued with its renewed focus on the agricultural sector.
Alhaji Nanono said the government has deepened the culture with the Anchor Borrowers programme initiative and ban on the importation of some agro-commodities.
He said the Ministry has raised her national food reserve stock to 109,657 a figure expected to be further increased to 219,900 MT by the end of 2020.
“Agriculture for Food and Job Plan (AFJP), a component of President Buhari’s Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) was launched in July 2020.
“The project is targeted at mitigating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers. The goal of the plan is to lead to the creation of about five to ten million jobs in the agricultural sector, to cultivate more land in each state, provide zero-interest loans to farmers, amongst others.
“The first phase of the scheme has produced over 1.1 million beneficiaries across all states and the FCT.
“Out of the 5 million planned beneficiaries for AFJP, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has empowered 1,138,000 farmer-beneficiaries across the 36 states and the FCT under the first phase of implementation.
“Since the beginning of the 2020 farming season, the Ministry has distributed inputs in states across the country to boost food production.
“Nigeria last year recorded a boost in the production of her major staple crops. According to the data from the Ministry, maize and rice production rose from 12.8 and 12.3 to 13.94 and 14.28 million metric tonnes (MMT) respectively last year.
“The same is obtainable for cassava with production increase from 58.47 MMT in 2018 to 73.91 – and even projected to rise to 93.6 by 2023. Growth has also been recorded for groundnut, tomatoes, and sorghum production.
“Cattle beef, milk and fish production also rose by 166%, 146% and 11% respectively between 2018 and 2019. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics report indicate that Nigeria’s National Agricultural Import Bill also reduced from 1.2 to 1.1 billion Naira”, the Minister explained.