Nigeria has the “Dutch disease” and this has been laid bare by the recent fall in oil prices globally, a commodity that contributes over 70 percent of the country’s annual budget, leaving other sector of the economy struggling with underinvestment.
The dairy industry in the West African country, which contributed about $1.7 billion in revenue to the Nigerian economy in 2013, has suffered the wrath of years of lack of investment in developing infrastructure to support farmers.
According to an Aljazeera report, over 95 percent of the diary products sold in the country is imported.
“The governments are not helping the situation. The government has focused the attention solely on the petroleum,” Mohamed Salahu, a diary expert in a milk processing firm in Kaduna state, told Aljazeera.
Dairy farmers in Nigeria lack electricity and proper storage facilities and have to travel long distances over bad roads get their produce to the processing plant.
The government however says it is working to reduce the country’s dependence on imported milk and milk products.
“What we need is to improve the process and also the establishment of these multiple milking centers across the country where people bring their cattle and milk,” Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture, Sonny Echono told Aljazeera.
Going forwards, by the time we establish the ranches, milk production will become integrated, it will become scientific and we are gradually reducing the imports as we ramp up local production,”