The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, represented by the Director of Animal Production and Husbandry Services, Dr. Egejuru Eze, said this during the just concluded two-day multi-stakeholders roundtable conference in Abuja with the theme: “Milky way to development.”
The programme, jointly organised by Arla Foods (producers of Dano milk powder), CARE Denmark, Billital Maroobe, Danish Agriculture and Food Council and the Ministry of Agriculture, was aimed at improving dairy production and marketing and development of new business models that will help create employment and profit for local dairy farmers in West Africa.
He said, “Presently, the annual national dairy output and demand are estimated at 700,000 metric tonnes and 1,300 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 milk in powdered milk processed in Nigeria to meet the national demand and drastically reduce milk importation by the year 2019.
“It is heartwarming to note that there has been increased flow of foreign direct investment into Nigerian livestock industry from different parts of the world, particularly in dairy development.”
The Vice Chairman, Arla Foods, Jan Toft Noergaard, said the company was proud to host farmers and other stakeholders in both European and West African dairy sector.
“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.