By Nosa Alekhuogie
Arla Foods, makers of Dano Milk and Lupark Butter, has officially committed to investing in local dairy production in Nigeria and to sharing knowledge about agricultural practices and other aspects of dairy production that will improve the local raw milk production and quality in Nigeria. The purpose, according to the company is to contribute to a sustainable dairy sector development and growth in Nigeria.
Head of Arla’s regional office in Sub Saharan Africa, Steen Hadsbjerg made the commitment at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the visit of a Danish business delegation to Nigeria arranged by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to Hadsbjerg, the move by Arla will contribute to the sustainable development and growth of Nigeria’s dairy sector.
He said: “In order for Arla to have a long-term successful business in Nigeria, it is important that we engage in the development of the local dairy sector. The Nigerian government looks very positively on the companies that commit to taking a local responsibility and help create a better balance between imported and locally produced dairy products in the market,” says Steen Hadsbjerg. He further disclosed that, Arla is already in talks with specific local farmer groups to commence partnerships in which Arla can invest and contribute with know-how and insights to helps improve the local dairy production in Nigeria.”
According to Hadsbjerg, “Nigeria is one of the biggest markets for dairy products in Africa. For Arla to succeed in Africa, we must succeed in Nigeria. The population is growing at a rate of two to three percent per year, and people are young, ambitious and increasingly well educated.”
The MoU is a natural consequence of Arla’s engagement in “The Milky Way to Development”, an alliance lead by CARE to develop a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable market for milk in West Africa.
Nigeria is one of the six markets in which Arla plans to concentrate under a programme dubbed, “Strategy 2020” announced by the company in December 2015. This move by Arla is in fulfillment of the promise of Arla’s CEO, Peder Tuborgh that Arla would be stepping up its efforts in Nigeria.