As a matter of immediate necessity, the Nigerian economy turns to the revival of her milk/dairy industries in order to salvage the alarming economic instability.
It is indeed a trying time for Nigeria; I guess the President meant it when he requested the people to be ready for “hard times”. Good enough though, there are a good number of ways to redeem the Nigerian economy which is currently undergoing a helpless devaluation of her currency. The blind and wide plunge into the oil and importation sectors weakened the manufacturing strength of the nation; and as an extensive effect of the global decline in oil price, Nigeria is waking up to the other side of reality – the need to be supply-sufficient from within.
“Despite having more than 10 percent of the world’s cattle population, Africa contributes less than 3 percent to global milk production but spends more than $500 million every year on milk imports from Europe and North America, while thousands of its cattle farmers remain poor.”- AFK Insider
Bearing this in mind, Nigeria has resolved to take the dairy industry – the largest in the nation’s food industry – more seriously, ensuring the growth and development of the sector. Late last year Nigeria lost out to Angola as the leading oil producers in Africa; coupled with the whooping 50% loss in the usual oil revenue sum, alternating the source of the nation’s income has taken a more practical direction and action. Something has got to give; and the answer lies in Agriculture of which milk/dairy production is a tiny but lucrative aspect.
If this must work as planned, then a lot of positive changes are required to improve the dairy sector which yielded a revenue of about $1.7 billion in 2013 to the Nigerian economy. There is need to improve and enhance infrastructural facilities and encourage entrepreneurship in the field. This will stress the relevance of the industry as well as the farmers in that sector, thereby making it investment-friendly.
“We don’t have any reason to allow importation of yogurt in this country. It is sad and criminal for us to allow this to allow this to happen,” -Mohammed Abubakar, CEO L&Z Dairy Firm
It is equally sad to know that “imported milk powder accounts for over 75 per cent of Nigeria’s dairy industry because domestic milk production remains low” (CNBC Africa). Hopefully this will no longer be the case in Nigeria.