The Federal Government of Nigeria and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Coy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the network of milk suppliers in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono in a statement issued by the ministry’s Information Officer 11, Mr Mohammed Gana, on Thursday in Abuja said the partnership is to strengthen the dairy value chain by improving the quality of locally produced milk and to boost production.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO is the producer of Peak, Three Crowns, Olympic, Nunu and Coast milk brands and also a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s livestock subsector.
Nanono said that the significance of the Dairy Value Chain MoU was to strengthen the small holder dairy farming business.
He said this 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.
“Also creating employable labour and expansion of investment opportunities for farmers’ prosperity.”
He said that the ministry and FrieslandCampina WAMCO have earlier collaborated on key programmes such as the Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD).
Others are 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 said.
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.
Mr Ben Langat, the Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, said that the initial MoU established a structure and model for dairy development in the country.
“It brought to focus the urgent need to put in place the right infrastructure and expertise that will support local milk sourcing in Nigeria.
“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.
“Also in other parts of Nigeria whilst supporting various dairy co-operatives in the country,” he said.
Langat explained that under the MoU, both parties would provide a networking environment for 30,000 cattle herders and transform dairy farming practices by introducing improved techniques.
He added that this would also provide 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 said.
The partnership seeks 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.
According to the statement, the MoU will take concrete steps to resolve the challenges identified in the past five years.