IVORY COAST – The Dutch dairy giant FriaeslandCampina, has signed an agreement with the Ivorian Ministry of Animal and Fisheries Resources (MIRAH) to create a Dutch Center for Dairy Expertise in the country.

According to the Ivorian Minister of Animal and Fisheries Resources, Sidi Tiémoko Touré, the joint project will act in interaction with the government project for the Development and Promotion of Ivorian Milk Production (Pro Lait), to provide an adequate response to the expectations of breeders. and actors in the Ivorian milk value chain.

“This initiative is in line with the ambitions of the executive who wishes to increase the local production of dairy products by 25% by 2030, which was estimated at 34,000 tonnes of milk equivalent in 2019,” Sidi said.

“For the time being, the production of fresh milk within the Eburnean nation covers only 17% of the needs on a domestic market estimated at more than 200,000 tonnes of milk equivalent.”

Data released by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has proven that the gap between supply and demand led 2021 to a 36% increase year-on-year with the volume of imports of dairy products, added up to 38,000 tonnes for a value of 74.4 billion CFA francs ($122 million).

FrieslandCampina identified West Africa as an area of interest in its 2010 ten-year strategy, route 2020, through which it aimed to achieve growth by expanding its dairy product offering and increasing its geographical presence.

In 2021, the dairy giant got into partnership with the Ivorian government, to boost local milk production in Côte d’Ivoire through the endowment of technology and the necessary knowledge.

According to both parties, the main goal of the partnership was to gradually reduce the country’s dependence on imports and improve the incomes of pastoralists by integrating them into the value chain.

Ideally, the agreement led to both parties putting on the table the decision of creating and launching the Dutch Center for Dairy Expertise in Ivory Coast.

Research has indicated that in West Africa, the demand for dairy products has been on an upward trend for a decade and many countries in the region are trying to develop local industries to reduce dependence on imports.

In recent years there has been a strong growth in the value of Irish exports of dairy ingredients to West Africa, where Irish suppliers hold a strong presence in the dairy ingredients market.

With factors such as economic growth and rising incomes, West Africans have a greater capacity to afford imported dairy products.

However, the diversity of local dairy products which are a cultural asset in West African countries is threatened by imports into the region from other countries.

This is due to the increased growth in urbanization, lack of public support for local production chains, and especially international competition from cheap milk powder imports.

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