With imported milk powder accounting for 75 per cent of raw materials used by the dairy industry, stakeholders are hopeful that the unveiling of the Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD), would help reverse this trend and aid local production.
Speaking at the virtual unveiling of the FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s CNDDD, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, described the CNDDD launch as an opportunity to improve not only the agricultural sector but the Nigerian economy at large.
Considering the over 140-years’ experience of the Dutch dairy cooperative, Royal FrieslandCampina, The Netherlands, Osinbajo said that the pioneer expertise Centre in dairy development in Nigeria holds a lot of promise for the dairy sector; especially in critical areas such as breeding, farm management, quality, productivity based on yield per cow and feed management.
He said: “It is our expectation that the partnership between FrieslandCampina WAMCO and the government, universities, research institutes and dairy farmers would ensure a sustainable model. This will among other things, enable us to 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.”
Speaking online while welcoming everyone to the virtual launch, including governors of the Niger, Kebbi, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo states, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, Ben Langat, assured that the new Centre, a precompetitive platform, will foster cooperation among dairy stakeholders.
He said: “The Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development will take ownership in solving major constraints in the dairy chain. The ‘from grass to glass’ philosophy signifies chain collaboration and integration between industry, universities and government; between different players in the chain; between similar players in the chain; and within single players in the chain.”
The President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Roel van Neerbos, said: “FrieslandCampina WAMCO is closely involved in efforts to improve local milk supply in Nigeria. We are increasing investment in dairy development, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO intends to realise a broader and more in-depth inclusive growth of local milk production.”
Chairman, Board of Directors, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Moyo Ajekigbe, noted that with the collaboration of key stakeholders, the CNDDD will establish a knowledge-driven dairy sector in Nigeria that would benefit young dairy farmers and researchers, as well as give millions of Nigerian children access to good quality dairy nutrition.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, represented by the Director, Development Finance, Yusuf Yila, commended the CNDDD initiative while recognizing FrieslandCampina WAMCO as the strategic partner in developing dairy in Nigeria.
Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, in his goodwill message, said: “I would like to thank FrieslandCampina WAMCO, the Federal Government and everyone that is involved in this programme in making it a success, and I hope this would be for the betterment of Nigeria.”
Governor of Kebbi State, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, expressed his joy at the launch of the Centre as well as the outcome of the collaborative efforts of FrieslandCampina WAMCO and the Niger State Government towards dairy development. “I believe the CNDDD will be beneficial not only to the dairy farmers but the nation as a whole,” he said.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on his part, also commended FrieslandCampina WAMCO for their consistency and product quality ever since their establishment over 60 years ago and reassured that the CNDDD would be successful, noting that dairy farmers in Ogun are already part of the Company’s dairy development programme.
Governor of Kwara State, Abdul Rahman Abdulrasaq, described the CNDDD launch as “a step in the right direction,” and appreciated the efforts of FrieslandCampina WAMCO and all others behind the initiative, noting that his government will provide the required resources for dairy development in the state.
Governor of Oyo State, Oluwaseyi Makinde, represented by Executive Adviser on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, expressed his gratitude to FrieslandCampina WAMCO for their support over the years.
He added that the “livestock and dairy industry is of importance to our government and economy,” and hoped that the CNDDD will foster the growth in the c agricultural sector and enable it to become “one of the four pillars of the Nigerian economy.”
Also speaking at the launch, Corporate Director, Dairy Development and Milkstreams, Royal FrieslandCampina, The Netherlands, Jeroen Elfers, said: “The Centre is committed to being the prime international platform contributing to the progress of the Nigerian dairy sector; unlocking and developing dairy expertise for all stakeholders in the sector.”
A dairy farmer and Chief Animal Health and Production Technologist, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, Mrs. Olanike Atinuke Akinyemi, in her presentation, reviewed the success and challenges of the Nigerian dairy sector, saying that the CNDDD portends a much brighter future for the sector.
Comparing the daily needs of Nigeria and Pakistan, which have similar population sizes, the Director of Agri-Business and Corporate Affairs, FrieslandCampina, Engro, Pasha Saud, shared best practices from Pakistan, and how it grew to become the third-largest milk producer in the world.