NIGERIA spends between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion annually on importation of milk and other dairy products, it was learnt on Sunday.
To address the trend, which has caused continued capital flight, the Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project is investing heavily in local milk production and processing to fast-track the development of indigenous dairy industry for economic growth.
The state’s Project Coordinator Ibrahim Garba Muhammad said the “continued importation of processed milk and its products is economically harmful to the Nigerian economy”.
Garba spoke at the weekend when he hosted the Coordinator of Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria (RMRDC), Hambali Muhammad, at the project office in Kano.
A statement by the Project Communication Specialist, Ameen Yassar, said the Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project is partnering RMRDC and other research institutions to revitalise the economy.
The statement explained that the agro project will train herdsmen and vendors on basic hygiene and best practices in milk production and processing to add value to their products.
It also said the project would engage, in large and community scale, fodder production that will help herdsmen settle down without migrating seasonally in search of pastures.
“Nigeria spends between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion on importation of milk and other dairy products yearly, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The gap between supply and demand for dairy products in Nigeria is widening by the day. Of this, we have the potential to produce enough milk that will serve our population and even export to other countries. But we must invest appropriately.
“So, under this project, we are approaching the issue from different angles. We are constructing 200 milk collection centers to supply high quality, safe and adequate raw milk required by dairy processing firms and, indeed, the general public,” Muhammad said.
He listed another area of focus as insemination of cows and small ruminants fattening to improve the quality and quantity of milk, meat and leather products in Kano State.
The coordinator said the project is keen to gain from the expertise of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria in the establishment of milk collection centres, as well as in the areas of meat and leather development.
RMRDC’s Coordinator Hambali Muhammad urged the management of the Agro Pastoral Development Project to use the agricultural research findings of his organisation to achieve its vision and mission.