Jos - Godwin Oyediji, the Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, has disclosed that the country imports one million dollar worth of milk for local consumption daily.
Oyediji stated this in Jos on Thursday in a paper presented at a Dairy and Meat Summit, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science.
The theme of the summit is ``Improving Milk and Meat Production in Nigeria``.
``This amount is spent in the face of provocative unemployment; we are sinking so much money to import this product that we can produce locally if we can effectively harness our livestock potential,’’ Oyediji stated.
Represented by Alike Peter, the North Central Zonal Head of the Institute, the Registrar noted that milk and meat were crucial to humans and must be taken seriously in Nigeria.
``The current parlous state of our production structure, which is in the hands of nomads, is unsuitable; again, the current import regime of more than 90 per cent of our milk requirement is worrisome and unacceptable.
``Clearly, the challenge of massive wastage of the minimal local production is getting too serious and we must identify options for the harnessing of opportunities to exploit our resources to the optimum.
``There is no doubt that the nation’s 160 million people offers a ready market for farmers and investors, so we must explore the dairy and meat production as a viable business,’’ Oyediji stated.
Also speaking, Plateau Governor, Jonah Jang, described the livestock industry as a major source of Nigeria’s socio-economic sustenance, considering the nation’s endowment in the sector.
Jang, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Steven Barko, advised stakeholders to regularly review the country’s agricultural policies and take practical steps to improve and propel the sector to meet the immediate needs of the nation``.