By Chikodi Okereocha
THE Federal Government, has commended dairy giant FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc for expanding the frontiers of dairy development in Nigeria through the launch of the Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD).
The initiative – CNDDD – will focus on improving dairy productivity and sustainability throughout the entire dairy value chain in Nigeria, based on Dutch expertise gained for more than a century.
Speaking at the virtual unveiling of the CNDDD, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, represented online by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, described the launch of the initiative as an opportunity to improve not only the agricultural sector, but the Nigeria.
“This will, among other things, enable us create employment, diversify the economy, build industrial capacities, encourage competitiveness and improve the management of our foreign exchange reserves to eliminate the economy’s vulnerability to changes in crude oil prices,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s dairy development strides.
“Though we have a long way to go, we are heading in the right direction of achieving our goals of increasing the contribution of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors visibly in the future.
“I look forward to working with the Center for Nigerian Dutch Diary Development as operations commence,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, expressed support and hope in the speedy growth of the dairy sector with the launch of the CNDDD.
He said: “With this programme, it appears that we would soon reach the Promised Land, when we would no more import milk.”
At the official virtual launch of the CNDDD, with the theme “Accelerating a Sustainable Dairy Sector in Nigeria”, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, also commended the initiative.
He also recognized FrieslandCampina WAMCO as the strategic partner in developing dairy in Nigeria.
The Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, Mr. Ben Langat, said the new Centre will foster cooperation among dairy stakeholders.
“The Center for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development will engage and promote cooperation between the government, private sector, academics, students and dairy farmers,” Langat said.
He said it will also undertake activities that will improve the dairy chain in Nigeria, focusing on both the upstream and downstream sides of the chain.
The CNDDD will be the expert research and training institute for dairy development in Nigeria. It will focus on breeding, farm and feed management, quality control, and productivity (yield per cow).
Putting things in perspective, Langat explained that the Nigerian dairy sector presently faces major challenges.
He, however, said FrieslandCampina WAMCO, in partnership with the Federal Government, was determined to transform the sector from its current subsistence phase to a commercial quality-focused model.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO envisages that as the country’s population continues to grow, the establishment of a strong agricultural sector is one of the pillars that will bring economic and social stability in Nigeria.
This requires a fundamental long-term development of all areas needed to create a strong effective and efficient dairy sector based on milk yield, milk quality, breeding strategy, feeding, collection infrastructure, and a route to the market.
Confident about how the CNDDD would deliver on its objectives, Langat said, “With FrieslandCampina’s dairy expertise and grass-to-glass philosophy, we are committed to growing the local dairy industry.
“From our experience, close co-operation between public and private sector has proven to be a key success factor.”
“FrieslandCampina is pleased to be able to share its 150 years’ experience in dairy farming and production with its Nigerian partners through the Center for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD).”
FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been at the center of developing local milk sourcing through its Dairy Development Programme (DDP).
This investment spanning across five states in Nigeria with over 9000 dairy farmers (including 950 women) has seen solid and sustained growth over a decade.
Learning from experience, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, therefore, aims to broaden and deepen inclusive growth in local milk sourcing by partnering to provide the required expert support and improve knowledge of local dairy farmers.