The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said that the ministry, together with relevant stakeholders, is determined to reduce imports of dairy products, increase local production as well as as the marketing of dairy products in Nigeria.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, made this known during the validation workshop of the national dairy policy held in Abuja.
Umakhihe pointed out that “policy making of this nature takes a series of steps to achieve the desired end of meeting the aspirations of all critical stakeholders who would be directly and indirectly affected by its functioning. We have carefully followed all the preliminary steps to this step which is the validation of the draft policy document. ‘
He noted that “successive administrations have made efforts to close the gap through rich programs like the Dairy Development Program, the National Animal Breed Improvement Program, among others, thus creating opportunities for participation. of the private sector “.
Umakhihe said there has been a continuous effort to achieve national sufficiency in milk production to reduce the huge amount spent on importing dairy products to close the huge gap between supply and demand. .
He informed that “the draft policy will support the implementation of the National Plan for Agricultural Technology and Innovation (NATIP) and FMARD. It will give a defined direction for the dairy industry of the country where all actors at whatever scale will have to comply with the operating rules, in terms of production, processing and marketing of dairy products in Nigeria ”
The permanent secretary added that “ the national dairy policy for the country is fit for the realization of the vision of the federal government articulated through the approach of change and standard practice to be applied at all levels of society, public and private, towards pragmatic national development ”.
He urged stakeholders to “produce a document that will outlive the present generation and therefore give it the best attention”.
In her welcome speech, the Director of the Department of Livestock Services of the Ministry, Ms. Winnie Lai-Solarin, said that the dairy sub-sector plays an important role in the agro-economy of the country, contributes to qualitative nutrition citizens and global food security. nation status.
She added that the major problem is that of low milk production, improper handling and post-harvest losses of dairy products, stating that “we need to continually improve the productivity of dairy animals genetically. Health and management practices to be able to meet the productivity objectives determined by the market.
In his message of goodwill, the Director General / Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Hussani Doko Ibrahim, represented by Dr (Mrs.) Mary Chibuzo Abiaeye reiterated that the RMRDC is always willing and ready to join in the progress for the upgrade of our Local Dairy Sector. He added that “it is very important that the draft document has contributions from broader stakeholders who will guide and guide the operations of the dairy sub-sector”.
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