Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro has advocated for a well-Coordinated, decentralised Research and Development (R&D) driven national Program on dairy and livestock production to boost the nation’s foreign exchange.
According to Professor Bogoro, Nigeria Presently spends a whooping sum of $1.3 billion annually on importation of powdered milk that are being reconstituted into various products.
Professor Bogoro spoke as Keynote Presenter at the 9th Joint Annual meeting of Animal Science Association of Nigeria, (ASAN) and Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) in Abuja.
The TETFUND Boss noted that available statistics indicate that Nigeria produces 526,000 litres of Dairy products as against the demand for about 1.2 million litres per annum.
The solution to this he said is to mount a sustainable campaign for the production of dairy products using the intervention of R&D to improve the dairy Value Chain and save a lot of revenue for the country.
Professor Bogoro challenged Food Scientists to explore the use of milk and milk derivatives to enhance the quality of our national diets, meals and recipes. “There exists nowadays biotechnologies and digital solutions that can fast track the development of Nigeria’s dairy Sector towards being globally competitive”, he added.
It is therefore imperative, he said, to establish a private sector led, but government supported livestock Species/breeds for sustainable livestock development.
To this end, he called the relevant institutions to fast-track the completion and signing of the National Livestock Breeding programme to ensure effective regulatory national framework for the practice of livestock breeding in the country.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, called for a paradigm shift in the nation’s agro pastoral programme in view of climate change. He called for a more technologically driven process in the production of livestock and enlightenment campaigns on the part of the pastoralists to embrace the new ways.
It’s practically impossible, he said, to continue to rare cattle the way it used to be as most the routes for grazing have disappeared as a result of population growth.