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920 women farmers benefit as dairy giant FrieslandCampina positions to boost Nigeria’s economy

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Roelof Joosten presents a Peak milk truck souvenir to President Muhammadu Buhari
Roelof Joosten presents Peak milk truck souvenir to Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Not less than 920 women and 726 men are already benefiting under the FrieslandCampina WAMCO dairy development programme (DDP) training of over 1,600 Fulani milk producers and potential small holder dairy farmers in Oyo state. It is obviously not a tribal selection for the company chiefs have already pledged to President Muhammadu Buhari that they are more than ready to take their DDP success across Nigeria.

FrieslandCampina “is the world’s largest dairy co-operative and one of the top five dairy companies in the world. It has an annual revenue of 11.4 billion Euro and offices in 28 countries, employing a total of 21,186 people and selling its products in more than 100 countries” according to Wikipedia, the world’s most popular online encyclopedia.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO, which lead brand Peak milk has been boosting nutrition in Nigeria for over 60 years, also produces the Three Crowns milk and Friso brands. It signed its first MOU with the federal government in 2011 and has invested billions in its DDP locally since then. FrieslandCampina HQ is in The Netherlands.

Global CEO, Roelof Joosten, and his Nigerian counterparts at FrieslandCampina WAMCO, paid a courtesy call on President Buhari in Abuja recently. They told him about FrieslandCampina’s expertise as the lead partner to develop the Nigerian dairy sector and FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s commitment to improving the same especially being the only dairy manufacturer in Nigeria that is currently sourcing part of its raw milk requirements locally for production.

The company continued to invest in the maintenance of its facilities: the Milk bulking Centre in Iseyin and four functional Milk Collection Centres (MCCs) in Fasola, Alaga, Maya and Iseyin. The company has in its fleet, five insulated milk trucks of varying capacities for the conveyance of raw milk from the Milk Collection Centres to the Milk Bulking Centres en route the factory in Lagos. Moreover, the company provided boreholes (mostly solar powered) to twelve communities in DDP locations and all the milk suppliers were given aluminium milk cans of 30,000L capacity to improve the quality of raw milk being supplied.

Working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and International Fertilizer Development Centre- Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (IFDC-2SCALE), the milk producers were immensely supported through consistent trainings and demonstrations to upgrade their milk supply in terms of quantity and more importantly quality. Thus improved pasture cultivation demonstrations of improved pasture seeds from South Africa was carried out in four learning plots in DDP locations which thrived well while we plan to roll out these to other locations in the coming years while we partner with National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) to develop propagation of local pasture in Nigeria.

According to Ore Famurewa, Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, “We also demonstrated and trained farmers in the use of crop residues and fortification as sources of good feed to cattle, feed preservation through silage and hay making was also demonstrated, crossbreeding through artificial insemination was carried out as well as an instructive and continuous Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) put in place.

“The total volume for the year was slightly over three million litres while one of the most important quality parameters, total plate count was improved to about 800,000cfu/ml. The DDP team also worked in partnership with Nigerian Institute of Trypanosomiasis Research (NITRE) to control the prevalence of tsetse flies and therefore reduce trypanosomiasis disease infections in the locations where DDP is active.”

The Fulani women in collaboration with IFDC-2SCALE were engaged in vocational trainings and also linked up with WAMCO sales team to retail peak and three crowns products serving as additional sources of income to them.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria uses a variety of tools to develop dairy farmers. Training: On the ground practical knowledge transfer by local FrieslandCampina dairy development officers and/or by Dutch dairy farmers (via Farmer2Farmer program). Expert Advice: Consultancy services by internal and external dairy experts on e.g. feeding, breeding, hygiene, disease control and milk payment. Knowledge Partnerships: Setting-up of a centre for knowledge transfer, demonstration, research and innovation (via a development centre or a demo farm). Infrastructure Construction: Financing of local infrastructure such as milk collection centers, boreholes, milk collection trucks, etc. Field Trip: Hosting delegations of local dairy stakeholders to the Netherlands to showcase best practices in the Dutch Grass-to-Glass approach.

“Our plans for 2016 include the following” explains Famurewa: “We will intensify mobilisation and accommodate new SHDFs and FMPs to join the DDP, facilitate the establishment of at least 50 small-holder dairy farms, ensure good dairy farm practices (GDFPs), focus on increasing milk production per cow in Oyo, improve raw milk quality through effective quality control measures and training, implement pasture development, dry season feeding and improve access to potable water. We will kickstart an effective cross-breeding programme, establish two pilot farms and training/breeding centres in Oyo as well as execute effective animal health programmes”.

The 2016 national budget shows clear determination of the Buhari administration to diversify the Nigerian economy away from crude oil dependence since the great crash in oil prices, and agriculture is the next big GDP boost government is looking to. Nigeria definitely needs turnaround specialists in this sector like FrieslandCampina to make its economic dreams come true.

Cover Photo by FMARD: Sampling good milk: Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh (middle) flanked by Rahul Colaco, MD, FrieslandCampina WAMCO (left) and Ore Famurewa (right) in The Netherlands – 2016[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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