New Telegraph

World Milk Day: FG To Reposition Dairy Industry To Curb Malnutrition

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has reiterated the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to reposition the dairy industry by investing in it in order to fight malnutrition, especially in children.

Senator Abdullahi stated this at a Conference and Exhibition programme in Abuja to mark this year’s World Milk Day. He restated the commitment of the President Tinubu-led administration to ensure total food security so that Nigerians will have enough milk to consume daily.

Abdullahi said: “When you talk about food security, you are talking of many dimensions, food can be available, affordable, but the question is what type of food is that?

“So, this is where the aspect of nutrition comes in, and in talking about nutrition, then you have to talk about the various sources whether plant based or animal-based.

“But we all know that the one that is highly desired is the animal-sourced protein, and our milk is a complete one because I doubt if there is anybody raised without milk.

“President Bola Tinubu is highly committed to the Nigeria project, he is committed to providing what it takes for Nigeria to be totally food secured because it is not enough for you to take milk today and tomorrow you don’t have milk and you don’t have an alternative to it.”

Speaking further, Senator Abdullahi noted that the recently concluded MultiStake-holders’ Platform on Feed and Fodder was another step the government is taking towards addressing the challenges in making available feed and fodder for the livestock.

He guaranteed that the implementation of some of the critical recommendations of the National Dairy Policy would receive attention and the implementation would commence.

“Just recently, we concluded the Multi-Stakeholders’ Platform (MSP) for feed and fodder, and you know for the dairy industry, feed and fodder is key, because the livestock have to eat very well.

And I think that good feed is critical to dairy industry development, and with what we are doing on this, I want to guarantee you that in no distant time, what the National Dairy Policy is recommending will begin to receive massive attention and we will be able to work the talk, ” the Minister added.

The Minister also harped on the need to make milk available to all Nigerians, as it is one of the animal proteins which is needed by the body they build, especially in children.

Similarly, the Federal Government has announced that the National Dairy Policy that was formally launched on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, was poised to transformed the dairy industry in Nigeria.

Abdullahi emphasised that the policy aimed to address the myriad challenges facing the dairy sector and drive national development, benefiting the nutrition of Nigerians.

He outlined the significant obstacles the industry faced, such as the lack of modern global best practices for cross-breeding and calving, midstream challenges, low investment, disorganised milk collection schemes, high costs of milk collection and cold chain facilities, poor transportation infrastructure, unstable electricity supply, pervasive insecurity, limited access to finance and inadequate dairy infrastructure.

He noted that Nigeria currently spent $1.5 billion annually on importing dairy products due to a production deficit, as Nigerians consume an average of 1.6 billion litres of milk and its products.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is deter – mined to attain national production security, with the aim of eventually exporting dairy products to other African countries under the African Conti – nental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“In keeping with the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda of President Tinubu, we urgently need to reverse this trend,” Abdullahi stated.

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