by Chikodi Okereocha,
FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, dairy producer, said it has so far invested over N4 billion in its Dairy Development Programme (DDP), an initiative aimed at developing the local dairy industry.
The firm, which is currently the only dairy manufacturer sourcing part of its raw milk requirement locally for production, does this by creating a sustainable raw milk value-chain that contributes to food security via provision of quality dairy nutrition to Nigerians as well as providing jobs.
Its Corporate Affairs Director, Ore Famurewa, said the firm believes in supporting local content wherever it operates, adding that it has made significant progress in the development of local milk production.
She said the company’s target was to achieve 10 per cent local content in raw milk production every five years, it is currently doing three per cent. “Dairy development is a gradual thing. You can’t compare milk development to crop development. For us, it is slow and steady, but we will surely get there,” she assured.
Famurewa spoke on Tuesday while conducting newsmen and two visiting professors from The Netherlands round its dairy development facilities in Oyo State. The facilities include a Milk Bulking Centre in Iseyin and four functional Milk Collection Centres (MCCs) in Fasola, Alaga, Maya and Iseyin, all in Oyo State.
The two professors: Imke de Boer, a Professor of Animal Science, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and Managing Director, Wageningen Academy, Janine Luten were in Nigeria at the behest of FrieslandCampina for cooperation talks with the University of Ibadan (UI) in the areas of knowledge sharing and exchange programme with Nigerian dairy farmers.
Famurewa explained that when the company started its DDP in August 2010, it was buying milk from Zimbabwean farmers in Shonga, Kwara State and bringing to its factory for production. But the company, she said, realised that this was not enough; it was better to get Nigerians, the local Fulani farmers to milk cows for it.