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Nigeria to Begin Milk Exportation Within Africa: Shettima

Boosting Agriculture and Economy Through Dairy Export

by Motoni Olodun

Nigeria is set to start exporting milk to other African countries, marking a significant step in the nation’s agricultural and economic development. Vice President Kashim Shettima announced this ambitious plan, highlighting the government’s commitment to diversifying the economy and enhancing the country’s agricultural output.

The move to export milk is part of a broader strategy to boost Nigeria’s agricultural sector, which has historically been underdeveloped despite the country’s vast natural resources and favorable climate. The government aims to transform agriculture into a key driver of economic growth, reducing reliance on oil exports and creating new opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses.

Vice President Shettima emphasized that this initiative is in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which seeks to facilitate trade and investment across the continent. “Exporting milk within Africa not only strengthens our economy but also fosters regional integration and cooperation,” Shettima stated.

Nigeria has been working on increasing its milk production capacity through various initiatives, including improving livestock farming practices, enhancing feed quality, and investing in dairy processing infrastructure. These efforts are starting to bear fruit, as the country is now poised to become a significant player in the African dairy market.

The Nigerian government has partnered with both local and international stakeholders to achieve this goal. Collaboration with global dairy companies has brought in expertise and technology, helping to modernize the sector. Additionally, programs aimed at supporting small-scale farmers and pastoralists have been implemented to boost productivity and ensure sustainability.

Dr. Olusegun Awolowo, CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), highlighted the potential benefits of milk exportation for the economy. “This initiative will open up new markets for Nigerian dairy products, increase foreign exchange earnings, and provide livelihoods for thousands of Nigerians,” Awolowo explained.

However, there are challenges that need to be addressed to make milk exportation a reality. Issues such as inadequate infrastructure, inconsistent power supply, and logistical hurdles must be overcome. The government has acknowledged these obstacles and is working on solutions, including infrastructure development projects and policy reforms to create a more conducive environment for exporters.

The dairy industry in Nigeria is also focusing on quality control to ensure that exported milk meets international standards. By adhering to stringent quality measures, Nigeria aims to build a reputation for high-quality dairy products, which will be crucial for gaining and maintaining market access in other African countries.

Farmers and industry stakeholders have expressed optimism about the new export opportunities. Adebayo Adeniran, a dairy farmer in Ogun State, shared his excitement: “This is a game-changer for us. Exporting milk will not only increase our income but also encourage more people to invest in dairy farming.”

The launch of milk exportation is seen as a milestone in Nigeria’s agricultural journey. It underscores the government’s dedication to transforming the sector and highlights the potential of agriculture as a cornerstone of economic diversification. As Nigeria prepares to enter the African dairy market, the focus remains on building a robust and competitive industry that can sustain growth and prosperity.

With the groundwork being laid and the initial steps taken, Nigeria’s vision of becoming a leading milk exporter in Africa is gradually taking shape. The success of this venture will depend on continued investment, innovation, and collaboration between the government, private sector, and farming communities.

Source: TribuneOnline.ng


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