NIGERIA – Arla Foods, one of the largest dairy cooperatives in Europe, has inked a joint-venture partnership with diversified consumer goods company, Tolaram Group, for establishment of Danish-designed state-of-the-art commercial dairy farm in Kaduna State.
Construction of the dairy farm, which has since started, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The land mark initiative is part of the nation’s efforts of increasing milk production to 1.7 billion litres by 2024.
Nigeria has a cattle population of 20 million that produces 600 million litres per year against a consumption capacity of 1.3 billion tonnes of milk annually.
This forces the West African country to spend US$1.5 billion every year in dairy products importation to meet rising demand for milk and milk products.
The 200-hectare farm will house 400 im-ported dairy cows, modern milking parlour, advanced animal cooling technology and all other modern technology used in dairy farms today.
Furthermore, the farm will produce all roughage for feeding and would have housing facilities for its 25 employees.
The farm – scheduled to open in 2022 – is eventually expected to produce over 10 tonnes (10,000 litres) of milk per day, which will then be processed by Arla’s dairy plant in Kaduna State to supply locally produced dairy products to Nigerian consumers.
Arla Foods farm management expert, Snorri Sigurdsson, says, “We are highly delighted by the signing of the construction agreement with our joint-venture partners, Tolaram Group.
“This signals the beginning of greater things to come in the dairy sector in Nige-ria and we are truly happy to construct the farm in Kaduna, the Dairy State of Nigeria! Without a doubt, this collaboration will help a great deal to boost local milk production in Nigeria.”
The investment is a testament of the cooperative’s continued support to the Nigerian dairy industry.
Since 2017, Arla has been the lead business partner in The Milky Way Initiative, which was formed in collaboration with the Danish Agricultural and Food Council, Danish Agricultural Knowledge Center Seges, Care Denmark, the Nigerian pastoralist organisation Coret, and the dairy farm cooperative MILCOPAL in order to develop a sustainable dairy value chain in Nigeria.
In 2019, Arla entered a new public-private partnership with Kaduna State government to offer 1,000 nomadic dairy farmers permanent farmland.
More recently, working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through ALDDN (Advanced Local Dairy Development Nigeria) with SAHEL Consulting, Arla lent its expertise to support more than 600 small scale households to create better livelihoods by developing a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable dairy market in West Africa.
The new dairy farm will be led by Arla’s farm management expert Snorri Sigurdsson, who will also head up the training agenda.