The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and FrieslandCampina WAMCO have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the development of the dairy value chain.
Both parties will establish a networking environment for 30,000 cattle herders and reform dairy farming methods by introducing enhanced techniques and providing farmers with extension services to boost raw milk quality and farm productivity under the new agreement.
“We will introduce commercial credit to farmers and build confidence between benefiting farmers and financial institutions for viable agri-business”, says the Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ben Langat.
Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Langat signed the extended MoU on Wednesday in Abuja.
Langat stated at the signing event, “The inaugural MoU established a structure and model for dairy growth in Nigeria.” It highlighted the critical need to put in place the necessary infrastructure and skills to facilitate local milk sourcing in Nigeria.
“Building on the progress made, the renewal of the MoU enables both parties to replicate the successes achieved in the past 10 years in Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Osun and Kwara states, as well as other parts of Nigeria, whilst supporting various dairy co-operatives in the country”.
The importance of the Dairy Value Chain MoU, according to Nanono, is to develop the smallholder dairy farming sector, which will help transform the mostly nomadic cattle herders into stationary dairy producers.
This will entail providing the necessary infrastructure as well as training along the value chain.
“We will set up crossbreeding centres to produce quality heifers and strengthen the capacity of pastoralists and smallholder dairy farmers to produce and supply raw milk to increase the market share of locally produced milk as well as create employable labour and expansion of investment opportunities for farmer prosperity,” Nanono said.
In 2011, the Federal Government signed its first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Dairy Value Chain Development in Nigeria (Demand Driven Approach) with FrieslandCampina WAMCO, which was extended in 2016.
Faced with declining oil revenue and the need to diversify the economy, the government hopes to expand on the partnership’s previous successes by signing a new MoU, which will expire on April 17, 2020.