In her drive to popularise dairy entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in collaboration with Friesland Campina (FC) WAMCO has trained over 30 prospective dairy entrepreneurs in Gombe (northeast zone) on modern methods of dairy production.
Speaking at the one-day sensitisation workshop for the dairy entrepreneurs in Gombe, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, said that the programme was borne of the desire to increase local content in dairy production in Nigeria.
Ibrahim said that Nigeria runs a monolithic economy and, for a country aspiring to be among the developed economies in the world, she needed to diversify her economy, especially through the agro-based sector. He added that there are a lot of cows in Nigeria but [they] yield insufficient quantity of milk due to poor and inadequate knowledge on the modern techniques of cow-breeding and management. This, he said, brought about the training on modern cow-breeding.
The DG informed the gathering that Vietnam and Netherlands, the highest producers of milk globally, do not have the number of cows Nigeria has but embraced global best practices in dairy development to ensure high milk yield.
He said technology rules the world and for Nigeria dairy entrepreneurs to upscale their business to the point of producing enough milk for Nigerian market, they must adopt the modern methods of breeding and milking cows.
The director-general noted that cows that produce enough milk are usually ranched in a center where they are well fed, with adequate hygiene assured. He advised the entrepreneurs to form cooperative societies and groups, as history has shown that the level of success recorded by individual breeders were far less than those by groups.
He further stated that the workshop was first held in Kano (northwest) and Ilorin for the (north-central) was to sensitise dairy entrepreneurs in the best global practices in dairy production, as well as introduce them to the high breed cows that yield more milk yield than the local species.
Ibrahim further stated that, in order to ensure technology transfer and global best practices in dairy production, the Office in 2013 entered into a dairy development partnership with Friesland Campina WAMCO, which led to the establishment of milk collection centers in Ibadan, Oyo.
He said that the company had built a very successful global dairy programme and that Nigeria has the potential to do well in dairy development if well managed. He revealed that the partnership ensured that, in every cup of milk taken in Nigeria today, local content make up two per cent, with the intention of gradual increase.
During the technical session, director consultancy services of NOTAP, Dr. Adamu Tandama, made a presentation on “Management of Key Resources in Small-scale Dairy Entrepreneurship”. Another resource person from Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr. John .A. traced the history of FC WAMCO in Nigeria via a presentation on “Opportunities for Small-scale Dairy Entrepreneurship”. The third technical paper presented at the workshop centered on “Best practices in Animal Care”.
A statement by assistant chief information officer, NOTAP, Raymond Ogbu said participants at the event appreciated NOTAP and FC WAMCO for the opportunity to improve through the training, adding that they will judiciously apply the acquired skills to upscale their dairy businesses.