The MOU was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and L&Z Integrated Dairy Farm chairman Keith Richards.
Chief Ogbeh spoke of the large amount of powdered milk imports, and other dairy products running into millions of dollars, which he said has negatively impacted the economy over the years.
However, he expressed optimism that the MoU would help accelerate the development of the dairy sector within Nigeria, help improve nutrition, and curtail the migration and roaming of herdsmen, which he said is an unhealthy situation for the sector.
Formation of cooperatives
Chief Ogbeh said the conflict between herdsmen and farmers is undesirable in a country with 45m hectares (111m acres) of empty land.
“Because we have neglected this sector for too long we have the crisis with us and the best way to solve it is by retracing our steps and doing what L&Z has done and what they are willing to do,” Chief Ogbeh said.
L&Z started in the dairy industry in 1999, and the company now processes 3,000 liters of milk a day, with a capacity to increase to 24,000 liters per day.
The MoU is intended to facilitate the formation of herdsmen co-operatives, add value to their businesses and enhance the collection of raw milk for production.
The MoU will also enable training on best practices for improved dairy production in Nigeria.