NIGERIA – FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria’s leading dairy producer, has reiterated its commitment in transforming the dairy industry to enhance growth in the sector.

Mr Ben Langat, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, in a statement issued by the firm said that the company is mapping out strategies to improve local sourcing of milk in alignment with national development goals.

Since 2011, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been working in collaboration
with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on its Dairy Development Programme (DDP), reports Nigeria News Agency.

According Langat, through the DDP in Nigeria, the company has enhanced the technical capacity and knowledge of over 3,500 local dairy farmers which include 900 women.

Langat said WAMCO has also helped to develop new institutional capacities, policies and practices around dairy development that benefit both small holder farmers and pastoralists for a sustainable local dairy sector.

He commended the dairy farmers under its DDP across 90 communities on the progress made thus far, especially their recent record of supplying 27,045 liters of milk in one day.

“FrieslandCampina WAMCO continues to invest in local milk production, we recorded the highest milk collection of 27,045 litres daily production on May 28, years after the first 400 litres daily collection in 2011.

“We have improved raw milk quality and held 1331 training sessions for farmers and extension staff on topics with regard to milk quality and productivity, implementation of Good Dairy Farming Practices,” he said.

Langat, however, charged the farmers to increase their raw milk yield to justify the company’s plan to set up a Milk Processing Centre within the community.

“We are not only committed to providing affordable dairy products, we are also charged with the responsibility of increasing local milk sourcing,” he highlighted.

He noted that the company had five milk collection centres, 10 milk collection points and 10 currently under construction across various communities in Oyo State.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the dairy sector have called for increased investment in dairy production to close the gap between production, preservation and distribution.

Speaking during a recently held workshop in Lagos, they cited challenges facing the industry to include increasing production, maintaining quality and shelf life, and ensuring proper distribution.

Mosunmola Umoru from the Ministry of Agriculture said that dairy production in Nigeria is largely subsistence as pastoralists account for about 95% of herd used in production.

She noted that that since the pastoralists have limited knowledge, their production capacity is faulty, which in turn affects the chain – storage, distribution and consumption.

The stakeholders called for comprehensive plans and policies of government which would see to it that dairy production is harnessed to its fullest potential to meet the nutritional needs of the masses.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data shows that more than one billion people’s livelihoods are supported by the dairy sector and that dairy is consumed by more than six billion people globally.

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