SAN FRANCISCO, September 30, (THEWILL) – The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has revealed that about 1.5 billion dollars’ worth of dairy products is imported into the country every year.
Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary, FMARD, made this known at the Inception workshop of Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Technical Cooperation Project TCP/NIR/3701.
The project is also referred to as ‘Piloting the Implementation of the National Livestock Transformation plan in Niger and Kaduna States’.
The permanent secretary, represented by Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin, the Acting Director of Animal Husbandry Services FMARD, revealed that the huge bill is because of the long neglect of the livestock sector that has put a lot of burden on the import bills of the country.
Mu’azu says that about 5 billion US Dollars’ worth of food is imported yearly into the country out of which milk and dairy products account for 1.2 billion dollars to 1.5 billion dollars.
He says the challenges of growth in the livestock value chains are multifarious including low breed quality, herder and crop farmer conflicts, and banditry among other security challenges.
The country representative of FAO, Mr Fred Kafeero says the workshop kick starts the implementation of the Technical Cooperation Project, adding that FAO will provide technical support for the project.