Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Rutte, witnessed the signing between the Governor of Niger State, His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello, and the president, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Roel van Neerbos, in Abuja on November 26, 2019.
The MoU is in line with the government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, which seeks to grow livestock farming in Nigeria and transform the dairy sector.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO continues to work on the Dairy Development Program (DDP) in Nigeria by expanding to more states. Currently the company has developed pasture on 1,000 of the 10,000 hectares of land assigned to it at the Bobi Grazing Reserve, and established infrastructure including a milk collection center with a high-capacity cooling tank and milk-testing equipment.
The company has also introduced hydroponics to grow high-nutrient grass in harsh environments to ensure year-round feed for cows. It has also provided solar-powered boreholes to support farmers with potable water and provide water for the cattle.
The MOU seeks to replicate the nine-year DDP that has been running in Oyo, Ogun and Osun states. It seeks to expand local dairy production at the reserve, as well as train dairy cooperatives in Niger State on best global practices.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO executive director, corporate affairs, Ore Famurewa, said, “The Dairy Development Programme was officially launched by our company in August 2010 in Kwara State. This climaxed with the signing of an MoU between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria as its partner on Dairy Development in April 2011 and was subsequently renewed in June 2016.
“The DDP enables dairy farmers to run their businesses optimally with higher yields and better milk quality. This successful and unique model has benefitted over 7,000 farmers, including 950 women, a milk bulking center, six milk collection centers and 20 milk collection points across Oyo, Ogun and Osun states.”
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, with its DDP partners, also runs Farmer2Farmer, through which Dutch dairy farmers share knowledge and technical knowhow with local dairy farmers with farm training on feeding and watering of cattle, calf-rearing, artificial insemination for breed improvement, milking hygiene and practice, milking machine maintenance, hoof care, housing and barn design.
The company recently invested €23m ($25m) building a ready-to-drink (RTD) factory in November 2019. Locally sourced milk will be used at the plant to manufacture the company’s Peak Yoghurt.
Roel van Neerbos, president, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, said, “This mission is an important step in strengthening our longstanding relationship with the Nigerian government. The collaboration aligns with our vision to provide better nutrition to the world with our Dairy Development Programme (DDP). FrieslandCampina enables the local dairy farmers, like in Nigeria, to run their businesses optimally and raise the quality and quantity of their dairy production via the DDP.”