Royal FrieslandCampina has announced its decision to invest 23 million euros in local milk production as part of its Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in Nigeria.

The company’s chief executive officer, Hein Schumacher disclosed this. Schumacher made the statement in Abuja when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.

The delegation included the President, Consumer Dairy, Royal FrieslandCampina, The Netherlands, Roel van Neerbos; Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Ben Langat; Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Robert Petri; Chairman, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Jacobs Ajekigbe; and Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa.

Commending FrieslandCampina WAMCO for initiating the DDP and thus encouraging other investors to embrace backward integration in the sector, Osinbajo, spoke about the need to develop a robust plan to improve local production across the country.

He said: “The plan of extending the dairy development programme to other states is extremely important. I think that backward integration is crucial. My worry is the lack of incentives for backward integration.”

Speaking to journalists at the State House afterwards, Schumacher explained: “The Vice President asked us to continue to invest in local dairy farming to increase local production of milk and we are fully aligned with his request. We will take forward the programmes we have been running and expand them.

“We are investing around 23 million euros in our evaporated milk and ready-to-drink milk factory in order to provide fresh milk for the Nigerian consumer. FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been successful with dairy development in recent years and milk yield is improving” Schumacher said.

Highlighting the milestones of the DDP, Langat explained that, “four model farms with crossbreed cows have been established to improve local milk collection across its five milk collection centres.”
“Our Company is fully committed to working with local farmers to grow local milk production and ultimately ensure that Nigerians continue to benefit from the nutritious content of milk.”

Langat added: “Working with 3,500 dairy farmers in over 90 farming communities in Oyo State, we are already providing the required knowledge transfer and sustainable livelihoods for communities. We plan to transform additional 500 pastoralists to settled dairy farmers under the DDP model.

“Already over 100,000 people have been positively impacted around these communities.
Osinbajo, however assured the company of the federal government’s readiness to support it to actualise set business objectives while urging for better synergy between the public and private sectors.