Prof. Akinloye Farinde, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University OAU, Ile-Ife, has urged the Federal Government to implement dairy policy that would provide enabling environment for local dairy farmers to thrive.
Farinde gave the charge while speaking at a training on improving breeding, production and the genetics of the animal in dairy value chain at OAU, Ile Ife, on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (Nuffic).
The theme of the training was “Strengthening Capacity for Institutional Staff & Lead Women along the Doing Value Chain in South Western Nigeria.”
Participants at the training include farmers, technologists and extension workers from FrieslandCamina WAMCO, OAU and Federal College of Animal Health Production and Technology, Ibadan.
Farinde said that such policy system must be active and operative in dairy value chain by assisting farmers in their production and marketing.
He noted that the programme was organised at the time that the nation needed improvement on the production of milk for human consumption.
He said that there were different challenges in animal production, especially rearing of cattle across the country.
He noted that the main challenge facing the dairy production was the downstream sector of the value chain, which is the market.
Speaking, the training coordinator, Dr Bukola Oyebamiji, said that Nigeria could produce enough milk for consumption and export in the next five years with proactive and consistent action plan.
“We went out to conduct survey last year and we discovered that animals are still given two litres of milk in Nigeria, whereas in some developing countries, you see animal producing 25 litres of milk in a ditch.
“But, within the dairy value chain and focusing on sustainable development, we will get a nexus between research, policy and practice in the dairy sector, for this is the only way to address the identified development gaps and move the country forward.
“And we believe that after this programme, our farmers and all the institutional staff will understand how to improve breeding, production and the genetics of the animal as well as to go more on practicals,” she said.
The Guest Lecturer, Prof. Saidu Oseni, said that the United Kingdom and European Union in 2018 had similar projects on driving the development.
Oseni commended the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who introduced the value chain concept for all commodities in agriculture.
“The purpose of this workshop is to train the trainers about the benefits, relevance and ultimately how to apply the value chain concert in this case for the reproduction.
“And all the wider ramifications in terms of income, value, product, diversification of enterprises would gain much in the.value chain, if effectively applied,” he said.
He commended Nuffic Netherlands for the sponsorship, saying that the participants were leaders in their own right, who would go back to their various institutions to train others about harnessing all the benefits and opportunities in the dairy sector. (NAN)