Nigeria’s dairy maker FrieslandCampina WAMCO is aggressively expanding its operations to close the demand-supply gap in the milk industry, which currently stands at 700 million litres per annum.
Statistics published by Dairy Chain in 2014 put the annual demand of milk in Nigeria at 1.1 billion litres, with estimated annual production around 400 million litres while demand-supply gap stands at 700m litres.
The dairy maker has already set up five milk plants at Fasola, Maya, Saki, Alaga and Iseyin communities, all in Oyo State, getting raw milk from local farmers for onward processing at the factory.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, producer of Peak and Three Crowns milk, sees the gap as an opportunity.
“There is clearly an opportunity here, for us as a leading dairy nutrition company and for Nigerian dairy farmers to benefit as they bridge this sizeable gap,” said Ben Langat, managing director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO, at the Dairy Farmers’ Day held at Iseyin , Oyo State, last Thursday.
“As a company, we will continue lead in steering economic solutions in the dairy sector and will continue to play a key role in the on-going efforts to improve and maximise the potentials of dairy farming in Nigeria,” Langat said.
He stated that Dairy Farmers’ Day, first of its kind in the country, was meant to celebrate farmers across the communities in Oyo State where the Dairy Development Programme (DDP) was currently being implemented, while also facilitating knowledge exchange and experiential learning between local dairy farmers and dairy experts from within and outside Nigeria.
Robert Petri, ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, said: “Dairy farming is having a social impact on the people and I am happy that we are part of this indirectly.”
Petri said he could clearly see that difference could be made through agriculture, stating that agriculture was more important than oil in today’s Nigeria. He stressed that his country would like to partner with Nigeria on agriculture and trade.
On his part, Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural development, applauded the efforts of FrieslandCampina WAMCO in successfully hosting Nigeria’s first Dairy Farmers’ Day programme in Oyo.
“Let me reiterate the Federal Government’s commitment to the success of FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s DDP which has taken a firm root in Oyo State and is spreading to other parts of the country,” Ogbeh said.
Five dairy farmers emerged winners from the five LGAs where the DDP has produced improvements in local milk sourcing, dairy farming standards, improved business model and farmers’ livelihood. Each winner of the award for good dairy farming practises got a brand new motorbike, which was presented by Moyo Ajekigbe, chairman, board of directors of FrieslandCampina WAMCO. The winners are Adamu Aliu Poku of Fashola LGA, Kadade Amodu (Alaga LGA), Mohammed Osomo (Iseyin LGA), Amuda Yusuff Aliu (Maya LGA) and Abdukareem Jubril (Saki LGA).
Under its Farmer2Farmer Programme, FrieslandCampina WAMCO invited Dutch farmers to help local dairy farmers improve productivity of their cows.
Herman Bakhius, one of the two farmers from the Netherlands, said he was in Nigeria to raise the capacity of Oyo farmers and teach them new ways of increasing raw milk productivity.