The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has partnered the FrieslandCampina WAMCO to boost dairy value chain production in Nigeria.
Speaking during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the duo in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, said strengthening of the dairy value chain would improve the quality of locally produced milk, boost production and increase the network of milk suppliers in the country.
Nanono said the significance of the dairy value chain MoU was to strengthen the small holder dairy farming business which would help to transform the largely nomadic cattle herders to sedentary dairy farmers and also provide the required infrastructure and training in the dairy value chain.
“The ministry will set up crossbreeding centres to produce quality heifers and strengthen the capacity of pastoralists and small holder dairy farmers to produce and supply raw milk to increase the market share of locally produced milk as well as create employable labour and expansion of investment opportunities for farmers’ prosperity,” he said.
The minister stated that the ministry and FrieslandCampina WAMCO had earlier collaborated on key programmes such as the Center for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD) and the Value for Dairy Consortium, which builds local expertise and strengthens relevant institutions to be self-sufficient in shaping the Nigerian dairy industry. “The collaboration has been pulling together value chain actors with the right support from expert partners,’’ he pointed out.
He lauded the FrieslandCampina WAMCO for its commitment towards carrying out programmes and projects aimed at accelerating the pace of development in the dairy value chain in Nigeria.
Earlier, the FrieslandCampina WAMCO managing director, Mr. Ben Langat, stated that the initial MoU established a structure and model for dairy development in Nigeria, pointing out that it brought to focus the urgent need to put in place the right infrastructure and expertise that would support local milk sourcing in the country.
“Building on the progress made, the renewal of the MoU will enable both parties to replicate the successes achieved in the past 10 years in Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Osun and Kwara states, in other parts of Nigeria whilst supporting various dairy co-operatives in the country.
“Under the MoU, both parties will provide a networking environment for 30,000 cattle herders and transform dairy farming practices by introducing improved techniques and also providing farmers with extension services to enhance raw milk quality and farm productivity. We will introduce commercial credit to farmers and build confidence between benefiting farmers and financial institutions for viable agri-business,” he added.
A statement signed by Mohammed Gana for the ministry’s director of information said the partnership sought to support mutual goal of expanding economic opportunities in the dairy sub-sector and agreement to renew the MoU would reflect mutual intention to cooperate, coordinate and combine resources to achieve this objective while taking concrete steps to resolve the challenges identified in the past five years.
It added that FrieslandCampina WAMCO is the producer of Peak, Three Crowns, Olympic, Nunu and Coast milk brands and also a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s livestock sub sector.