In commemoration of World Milk Day, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has called for the genetic improvement of indigenous cows to increase milk production.
The association made this call in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Dr Gloria Daminabo, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday, in Abuja.
World Milk Day is commemorated annually on June 1 and the theme for this year is:
‘Sustainability in the Dairy Sector along with empowering the environment, nutrition and socio-economic growth.”
Since 2000, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) set aside June 1 as an annual World Milk Day, to celebrate the dairy sector and highlight the importance of milk products as a global food.
The main objective of the day was to make people aware of the importance of milk and dairy products in their lives.
However, the association noted that Nigeria had the required resources, a large cattle population, large market for dairy products, farmers, adequate veterinarians and other experts, to improve the sector.
The association, however, decried the challenges faced by the dairy sector in the country ranging from poor production practices, low milk producing indigenous breeds and inadequate policies, accounting for the sector’s underdevelopment.
“It is important that these key production challenges be addressed to increase domestic milk production in sustainable ways.
“There is also a critical need to engage veterinarians and other experts to successfully achieve this.
“We need to do more in a partnership between the Federal, State governments and other value chain stakeholders to rapidly improve the dairy sector”, the association said.
The association also assured Nigerians of its continuous advocacy, professional roles and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to promote sustainability in the sector.
This according to them will help to combat food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty in the country.