The first Dairy Stakeholders’ Meeting was held at the Conference Centre,
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on the 1st February, 2014. Present at the event were representatives of the dairy sector, industry players, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the academia, private investor in backyard dairy system, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, staff and students of the Department of Animal Sciences, OAU, Ile-Ife. A total of 25 stakeholders attended the meeting.
The meeting provided a forum for interactions among different stakeholders who are involved in dairy sector development, capacity building, researchers, academia, investors, etc. In his opening presentation, Dr S. O. Oseni gave an overview of the programme, noting that the goals of the meeting were four-fold.
First and foremost, the organizers would intimate to stakeholders about the DAIRYCHAIN. Secondly, set a platform for expert presentations relating to the status of the Nigerian dairy sector and strategies for sustainable development.
Thirdly, discuss teaching curricula for Dairy Science course(s) in Nigerian Universities in relation to dairy sector requirements of core competence of graduates and fourthly, create a network of stakeholders to foster collaborations in future activities relating to training, research and development in the dairy sector.
Following the discussions it was agreed that certain interventions were necessary:-
a) Dairy Sector Mapping:
The project team will be required to undertake a comprehensive regional / national mapping of the Nigerian dairy sector with respect to the status quo, roles and functions of different agencies, output, labour requirements, number of employees per agencies and core competence, agency outreach, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or barriers to the sector.
b) Curriculum for Dairy Science courses in Nigerian Universities:
The meeting identified the need to have a “homegrown” dairy development curriculum that embraces the peculiar nature of our environment, challenges and situation.
In this regard, wholesale importation of dairy development agenda from other countries is to be discouraged. Also, a lot of differences in the teaching curriculum of dairy science courses were observed.
The need for harmonization of curricula across institutions was noted. Such curricula must meet the requirements of the Dairy Transformation Agenda, as well as the requirements of the labour needs (core competence) of the dairy sector in Nigeria.
c) New Network:
A network of participants and stakeholders at the meeting was created. The network provides a platform for subsequent follow-up joint action and programmes such as R&E activities, internships and mentorship in the development of the dairy sector in Nigeria.
d) Capacity Building:
The need to include capacity building in the Dairy Transformation Agenda was discussed. Such a step involves development of dairy science curricula that meet
industry standards and that would enable graduates meet the specialized manpower needs of the dairy sector.
e) Frequent clashes between herders and farmers:
To counter the frequent clashes the meeting extensively discussed the need to establish functional grazing reserves. Stakeholders agreed that the loss of human lives through clashes between farmers and Fulani’s has reached a very worrisome dimension and urgent action needs to be taken by the governments at all levels to stem the tide.
Proposals on alternative models of sedenterization and backyard systems were discussed. Some of these models that are already being practiced
were presented as evidence.