Dairy industry stakeholders seek government, industry collaboration for sustainable development


Stakeholders in the livestock and dairy sector have said that government collaboration with dairy processors, universities and other stakeholders is needed to modernise and increase milk production, quality and yield, as well as farming knowledge and competence.

The stakeholders spoke at the 2019 Development Icon Forum (DIF), a policy-research-practice (PoReP) platform of the Development Practice Academy (DEPRA), which held at the University of Ibadan International Conference Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The conference which focus was on the dairy industry and its challenges, with the theme: The path of dairy enterprise to sustainable development, said that the livestock sector is facing many challenges from disease outbreaks to environmental and resource constraints.

The group said that the development of the dairy sector required responsibility and know-how, adding that sustainable solutions are crucial for the industry to remain on a steady growth path without any setback.

The discussion hit on key priorities for the industry, from land and feed availability to the use of antibiotics and animal health.

They said that while the demand for milk was rising in the country, the lack of quality feed could put the country’s ambitious milk production plans in jeopardy.

The group said that huge investments were needed in cattle feed capacity to ensure feed availability.

The National President, Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Mr. Taiwo Adeoye, said there was the need for multi-stakeholder cooperation to promote sustainability in the industry.

Renowned animal scientist, Prof Funso Sonaiya, said that the industry’s effort in improving domestic production efficiency have fallen short of growing demands.

In a statement issued at the conference, the stakeholders identified the challenges of policy and advocacy, lack of data on dairy value chain, virile communications and information sharing, adequate dairy extension, shared vision and markets.

The forum urged the government to focus on continuing growth, building scales in processing capacities, and enhancing inclusive growth through the organised sector to boost the country’s self-sufficiency in milk production.

They recommended establishment of a National Dairy Board made up of private sector critical stakeholders in the dairy value chain.

They also proffered solutions for feed and feeding to include the need to identify available grasses and legumes across the nation for cultivation on small and large scales; usage of agro-industrial wastes, concentrates; strategic feed formulation as total mixed ration; generate resources conservation system.

The group said that local breeding for dairy in Nigeria is the only sustainable approach for the industry. They said it required deliberate capacity development of stakeholders; advocacy and enlightenment; leveraging on applicable technologies such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer; researchers’ close relationship with the field for allied researches; proper coordination of breeding improvement programme by relevant agencies of government; well-articulated funding; effective characterisation of dairy breeds; classification of the sector along the dairy value chain among others.

The forum attracted over 200 participants with expertise in research, academics, animal husbandry, dairy farming and processing, civil societies, policy makers and development practitioners, among others, across the dairy value chain.

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