Both country leaders witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Governor of Niger State, His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello, and the President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Mr. Roel van Neerbos, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on November 26, 2019. This is in line with the Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan which seeks to grow livestock farming in Nigeria and transform the Dairy sector into an economic force that will yield the twin objectives of economic growth and people empowerment.
As the Federal Government’s preferred partner on dairy development and backward integration initiatives, FrieslandCampina WAMCO continues to lead 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 key infrastructure including a Milk Collection Centre with a high capacity cooling tank and high quality milk testing equipment. Furthermore, the company has emerged the first to introduce hydroponics – a method of growing high-nutrient grass in harsh environments – a green house pasture development that would 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 between Niger State and FrieslandCampina WAMCO acknowledges the nine-year successes of the latter’s Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in Oyo, Ogun and Osun States respectively. It seeks its replication and expansion of local dairy production at the reserve, as well as train dairy cooperatives in Niger State on best global practices.
Leading sustainable dairy development in Nigeria
According to the company’s Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Ore Famurewa: “The Dairy Development Programme (DDP) 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 7000 farmers including 950 women, a Milk Bulking Center (MBC), 6 Milk Collection Centers (MCC) and 20 Milk Collection Points (MCPs) across Oyo, Ogun and Osun states” explained Famurewa.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO with its DDP partners are collaborating to deepen the inclusive model for local sourcing of fresh milk in Nigeria. The Farmer2Farmer is an initiative which allows Certified Dutch dairy farmers share knowledge and technical knowhow with local dairy farmers through on the farm practical training bi-annually.
Specialized trainings are organized 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 for local farmers and cooperatives in its over 90 DDP communities to improve milk collection.
The Dairy Development Programme is a sustainable business model that operates the smallholder system. Together with our partners, we empower young farmers and traditional pastoralists with modern animal husbandry methods and provide them a guaranteed market. Through the Dairy Development Programme, the company provides quality nutrition from Grass to Glass by breeding well cared-for cows which are the basis of good quality milk.
With strong alignment to FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s business strategy, the DDP drives local product innovation that provides support in reducing incidences of malnutrition. As part of its achievement, the company recently invested 23million Euros into building an ultra-modern Ready To Drink (RTD) Factory in November 2019. With the commissioning of this factory, locally sourced milk will be used in the manufacturing of Peak Yoghurt.
FrieslandCampina has the ambition to improve the standard of living of dairy farmers in Nigeria where it operates its Dairy Development Programme which has proven highly successful; milk quality and safety and volumes have increased considerably, thereby empowering dairy farmers and creating employment; women are also given the opportunity to participate in technical and entrepreneurial trainings, thus safeguarding food security and nutrition.
FrieslandCampina will continue to lead the dairy space and maintain our position as the market leader as well as the trail-blazer of the Dairy Development Programme in Nigeria. We remain committed to supporting the Federal Government and lead dairy development in Nigeria.
According to Roel van Neerbos, President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, “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.”
The MoU between FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and Niger State Government was made possible by the intervention and staunch support of the Central Bank of Nigeria; one of our core partners of the DDP in Nigeria.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Honorable Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Sabo Nanono; Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, His Excellency Harry van Dijk; Consul General, Jan van Weijen; President Consumer Dairy, Royal FrieslandCampina The Netherlands, Mr. Roel van Neerbos; The Chairman, Board of Directors, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, Mr. Moyo Ajekigbe; Non-Executive Director, Engr. Mustapha Bello and Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Ore Famurewa.