NIGERIA – Danish dairy giant, Arla Foods has entered into an exclusive collaboration agreement with compatriot VikingGenetics, a specialist supplier of bovine genetic products and solutions, to increase reproduction and milk productivity at its newly launched farm in Kaduna.
According to Nigeria’s official data, the initiative is aimed to ultimately contribute to improving the supply of dairy products in the country, which still depends on imports to cover more than 75% of its milk consumption needs.
The Export Manager at VikingGenetics, Seppo Niskanen noted that Arla aims to increase milk yield from cows and that the introduction of Nordic cattle genetics to the Nigerian market can unlock much of the untapped potential of the country’s dairy industry.
In order to achieve this goal Seppo highlighted that VikingGenetics have selected the Together we have selected the right bulls to achieve this goal.
“With this project, we are sharing our knowledge, creating an economically viable market for local milk and paving the way for the future of Nigerian dairy farming ,” adds Snorri Sigurdsson, Senior Procurement Manager. and raw milk production at Arla Foods.
In Nigeria, milk is one of the main imported foodstuffs. In the country, the main operators of the industry are betting on the improvement of bovine genetics to reduce the purchase bill.
Recently, Arla Foods stepped up its efforts to boost sustainable milk production in Nigeria with the inauguration of its state-of-the-art dairy farm in Kaduna which cost the Danish dairy giant over US$10 million.
The farm – a state-of-the-art Danish-designed dairy farm and the first of its kind in Nigeria- is located in Damau village, Kubau Local Government Area, Kaduna State.
According to Pedersen, the farm will be home to 216 Danish Holstein cows, which arrived in the country in the previous days.
He added that the Holstein breed, known to have a higher yield per cow than local breeds, was expected to produce 5 million kg of milk per year at the farm’s full capacity.
Peder noted that the farm, delivered at an investment cost of over €10 million, would serve as a place of milk production and an epicentre of dairy farming knowledge.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, Nigeria imports at least 60 per cent of dairy products the country consumes.
He added that despite the potential in the dairy industry, 60 per cent of dairy products consumed in the country were imported while the remaining 40 per cent was produced locally.
The minister noted that Nigeria’s per capita consumption of milk is 8 litres per year, representing very low consumption levels when compared with the global average of 44 litres of milk, according to FAO.