In a recent interview with NAN, Baba Ngelzarma, the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), revealed that Nigeria spends nearly $1.7 billion annually on importing milk. Ngelzarma urged the Federal Government to allocate more budgetary resources to the dairy industry, emphasizing that harnessing the potential of the livestock sector could significantly contribute to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ngelzarma expressed concerns about the lack of attention given to the livestock sector by the government, stating, “The livestock sector has not and never received the needed attention from the government; the only support we have gotten is vaccination of cows.” He highlighted that various aspects of livestock production, including marketing, transportation, and processing, are primarily handled by pastoralists, and the entire value chain of cattle is not fully utilized by the government.
Despite Nigeria having the largest population of livestock in comparison to neighboring countries, Ngelzarma pointed out that the country produces less milk due to the neglect of the livestock sector. The call for increased government involvement in the livestock industry is underscored by the potential economic benefits that could arise from a more comprehensive approach to livestock production and dairy processing.