Stakeholders canvass more investment in dairy production

Stakeholders in the dairy sector have called for increased investment in dairy production to close the gap between production, preservation and distribution.

The call came from the Technical Adviser (Youth and Gender), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mosunmola Umoru, who spoke at a stakeholders’ workshop in Ikeja, Lagos organised by Tetra Pak West Africa, a firm specialising in developing packages to protect the nutritional value and taste of the products.

Umoru listed challenges facing the industry to include increasing production, maintaining quality and shelf life, and ensuring proper distribution.

Speaking further, she said that dairy production in Nigeria is largely subsistence as pastoralists account for about 95% of herd used in production, adding that since the pastoralists have little or no education, their production capacity is faulty, which in turn affects the chain – storage, distribution and consumption.

The Technical Adviser called for comprehensive plans and policies of government which would see to it that dairy production is harnessed to its fullest potential to meet the nutritional needs of the masses.

She stressed that strategic investment would require organizing the pastoralists into clusters and making available to them the technology of milking cows, storing milk, packaging and distribution, adding that such steps would bring about an increase in production and reduce importation.

The Managing Director, Tetra Pak, Oshiokamele Aruna said the workshop was organised to showcase the firm’s important work in processing and packaging of liquid food, especially dairy.

“Dairy is an important aspect of our life and we believe it’s a good time to show how we work with people in the industry and harness the opportunities therein” he said.

The Marketing Manager, Tetra Pak West Africa, Solomon Yu, added that Tetra Pak is focused on supplying nutrition products for kids and adults to give them a balanced diet. He noted that the greatest challenge to dairy milk in Nigeria was affordability.

“Fresh dairy milk is pretty expensive, and to increase consumption we need to make it more affordable by developing new innovative products that will fit into consumer’s lifestyle. We need to find new occasions for dairy so we can have more consumers. That is where Tetra Pak comes in – technological innovations – efficient processing, packaging and distribution. We have an ambient distribution system which saves a lot of money in the process,” Yu said.

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