NIGERIA – Arla Foods, Denmark-based dairy firm has partnered with the Kaduna State Government in Nigeria to establish a dairy development programme that aims at developing the dairy sector.

To strengthen the private-public partnership, Arla Foods, the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government have signed a a memorandum of understanding to develop of a long-term sustainable dairy industry in the country.

The agreement will benefit 1,000 small scale farmers through the provision of necessary infrastructure while Arla as the commercial partner, will buy the milk, collect, process and bring it to market.

Kaduna state and the federal government have committed to improving the structural conditions for the livestock farmers in the region.

Securing the infrastructure such as roads, power and water, which are necessary to process and bring the milk to market, is also part of the public commitment. Arla will invest in establishing milk collection centres.

Speaking on the partnership, Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Arla Foods to grow and further improve our nation’s dairy industry.

“With our different competencies, together we can empower local farmers and promote market-driven sustainable dairy development in Nigeria.”

Steen Hadsbjerg, vice president, sub-Saharan Africa region for Arla Foods, said the partnership will build Nigeria’s dairy sector and “achieve Arla’s ambitions in West Africa”.

The project will primarily be funded by loans provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and guaranteed by the local state, reports Beverage News.

The collaboration works on a five-year project – the Milky Way Partnership – to develop a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable dairy value chain.

“Developing Nigeria’s agriculture sector will be an important pillar for the country’s growth and the private-public partnership is a strong model to drive growth.

“The ongoing collaboration between Arla and Kaduna state government is a great example of the positive impact EU companies can bring when they engage with local producers and contribute to the federal and state government job creation efforts.

“This project has great potential to develop the local dairy sector and make a real difference in many farmers’ businesses and lives”.

This new public-private partnership builds on the success of a collaboration initiated in 2016 with Kaduna state, the federal government, Arla and several NGOs including the Danish Agricultural and Food Council.