NIGERIA – Sahel Consulting, a leading African agriculture platform in Nigeria has lent its input to the develop a National Dairy Policy prepared by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, aimed to foster growth of the sector, boost local milk production and in turn discourage the importation of dairy products.
Africa’s most populous country spends US$1.3 billion yearly on the importation of dairy products as the sector faces challenges that limit production of high-quality raw materials to produce dairy products.
Muhammad Sabo Nanono, minister of Agriculture has further highlighted that over 60 percent of the dairy products consumed in the country is from importation and this calls for the passing of the proposed dairy policy to unlock the potential of the dairy sector and induce interest in its development.
Sahel has joined the initiative through its Advancing Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN) programme, which has been working with the dairy sector stakeholders to tackle the problems crippling the industry.
ALDDN utilises a systematic approach to catalyze a vibrant local dairy sector by improving the productivity of the local breeds while promoting local sourcing of milk.
One of the issues it has identified in the industry is limited production of commercial feed and fodder, which is essential in intensifying and facilitating the development of the value chain through strengthening the demand and supply along the value chain.
To this end ALDDN programme has so far engaged 140 commercial fodder producers to cultivate about 400 hectares of land through farming of several cereals, grasses, and legumes to produce silage and hay.
Sahel notes that the implementation of the National Dairy Policy will encourage farmers to adopt commercial production of fodder and market it at an affordable price to smallholder dairy farmers for the improvement of animal health, productivity, and household income.
The policy also aligns with one of the targets of the ALDDN program to increase the milk yield of at least 75,000 cows from 15,000 dairy households by at least 30 percent through genetics and breeding improvement, increased access to animal health services and training of smallholder dairy farmers on improved dairy farming practices.
The development of the National Dairy Policy has been an ongoing process which has seen stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors critically review and provide recommendations to the draft of policy.
The new policy will focus on infrastructure development, processing, dairy husbandry, quality control, product development, industry and sectoral cooperation.
Sahel appoints new partner
Meanwhile, the consulting firm has announced the appointment of Temi Adegoroye as a partner at the organization.
He joined Sahel in 2013 as an analyst and has worked diligently over the past seven years to deliver high-impact interventions across West Africa.
Temi is an expert in the seed system landscape with a focus on roots and tubers, and has deep knowledge of the dynamics in formal and informal agricultural markets in Nigeria.
He brings to the new position expertise in client engagement, project management and development of innovative strategies that address complex business challenges.
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