Nigeria; An import potential for milk powder?

Published 2 July 19

Nigeria currently holds the fastest population growth rate of the top 15 largest national populations, according to World Bank data. Prospects for Nigerian dairy imports are likely to grow, given poor domestic production levels and potentially strong economic growth prospects.

At present, Nigeria holds the 7th largest population. With an estimated 2.6% increase per year, it is forecast Nigeria will break into the top 5 largest populations by 2023, and the top 3 by 2050, behind India and China. An increase in the rate of urbanisation could result in 69.9% of the population living in urban areas by 2050, up from 45.2% in 2012, according to the FAO. This rapid population growth could spell major problems for Nigeria. Greater focus on infrastructure and economic development is needed to enable imports to support the increased food demand.

Dairy products feature prominently in urban and rural diets. Annual milk consumption is estimated at 1.7Mt, far above the estimated production figures of 0.6Mt. Many of the dairy products consumed are derived from milk powder rather than fresh liquid milk. Lacking national cold chain facilities means most liquid milk is consumed in close proximity to the rural regions in which it is produced. As such, Nigeria regularly imports milk powder to circumvent the lack of processing facilities. Last year imports were over 125,000 tonnes, mainly of EU and NZ origin.

With the Nigerian GDP rising 2.0% year on year in Q1 this year, added-value dairy products should become more accessible to an increasing portion of the population, particularly in urban regions. Vast investment is required for domestic development to meet this demand, therefore it is likely import opportunities will increase.

Nigeria Population

Alex Cook