FrieslandCampina has announced a decision to invest N3 billion in its dairy development small holder dairy farmer programme in Nigeria.
This was part of agreements reached between Nigeria and dairy giants, Royal FrieslandCampina of the Netherlands, during a recent two-day working visit of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Chief Audu Ogbeh, to the company.
A statement from the company said Chief Ogbeh signed several other pacts with FrieslandCampina, which will enable the company to roll out new dairy programmes that are designed to safeguard food and nutrient security in Nigeria.
According to the statement, Chief Ogbeh and Chief Executive Officer of FrieslandCampina, Mr. Roelof Joosten, also signed a Farmer2Farmer agreement during the visit.
Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, said in the statement that “with the Farmer2Farmer programme, FrieslandCampina aims to deploy member dairy farmers to train and advise local dairy farmers on feeding and watering of cattle, calf-rearing, milking hygiene and practice, milking machine maintenance, hoof care, housing and barn design.”
He also disclosed that to ensure training for undergraduates in tertiary institutions for FC WAMCO’s ongoing Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in Nigeria, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Mr. Rahul Colaco and Dr. Martin C. Th. Scholten, Member, Board of Directors of Wageningen University and Research Centre, signed an expression of interest for academic and technical support agreement with Nigeria.
According to the statement, Nigeria and FrieslandCampina WAMCO also agreed to renew their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the company’s dairy development programme in June 2016.
It said FrieslandCampina WAMCO would provide support to a Ministry of Agriculture subsidiary, Milcopal in Kaduna, under the terms of the revised MoU.
The UNION understands that while in the Netherlands, Chief Ogbeh and his team visited FrieslandCampina and the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden, FrieslandCampina Innovation and Research Centre in Wageningen and the Vollering Family Farm.
The statement quoted Chief Ogbeh as commending FrieslandCampina for taking the lead in dairy development in Nigeria adding that the visit was strategic and it would reinforce the ministry’s dairy development programme.
“We will support pasture development; building of Paddocks as we intend to ensure the Fulani cattle herders settle down.
“Over 60,000 hectares of land are already available in eight States and more are still coming. It is key to tie up with what FrieslandCampina is doing in Oyo and ensure cattle breeding improvement as well as training and developing skills for artificial insemination of local breeds with the best breed fit to cross breed.
“We need the support of FrieslandCampina WAMCO and Wageningen University in training of trainers in dairy farm management”, Ogbeh was quoted as saying.
He further said the partnership between FrieslandCampina WAMCO and the Ministry is indeed a promising one, as there is complete concurrence of plans and actions.