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Dairy farmers to smile as Sahel moves to boost milk production

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Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, a management consulting firm, has launched Advancing Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN), to boost milk production in the country.

The National Team Leader, ALDDN, Sahel Consulting, Mr Ernest Ihedigbo, said in Abuja on Thursday that the programme was launched to find a new path to increased milk production in the country.

According to him, the target is to increase milk yield of 75,000 cows from 15,000 dairy households by at least 30 per cent resulting in production of about 190,000 litres of milk per day at the end of the programme.

He added that in line with Sahel’s commitment to transforming Africa’s agriculture and nutrition landscape over the next five years, ALDDN would catalyse a vibrant local dairy sector.

Ihedigbo noted that the transformation would be carried out in an inclusive manner that would improve livelihood, productivity, nutrition and empowerment of small holder women farmers and the communities where they live.

He stressed that ALDDN would create an enabling environment for local sourcing through engagements with the government and relevant private sector stakeholders.

On financial inclusion and income diversification, the team leader said Sahel would partner with financial institutions to provide dairy farmers, particularly women farmers, with easy access to services like micro credit and group savings among others.

On training and extension, Ihedigbo said: “ALDDN will provide training on good dairy practices, nutrition education, hygiene education and behavioural change.

“The training will be disseminated through extension agents, including female agents to increase the participation of more women dairy farmers,’’ he said.

According to him, the programme will help improve farmers’ access to clean water through construction of solar boreholes in targeted dairy communities.

“The programme will work with the government and processors to support an enabling environment for local sourcing of milk.

“It will commission robust analysis of existing policies and policy reform opportunities on the dairy enterprise value chain including prevailing regimes of import tariffs and levies among others,” he added.

In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said the Federal Government would streamline all existing livestock development programmes and policies for effective management.

He said the livestock subsector was worth over N30 trillion, contributing about 17 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

While calling for concerted effort by relevant stakeholders to reposition the sub sector, the minister expressed government’s readiness to partner with investors toward boosting local dairy production to cut importation.

CJM//

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide

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