Last week, Dutch multinational dairy cooperative, Royal FrieslandCampina announced a fresh injection of 23 million Euros into its operations in Nigeria as part of its sustainable Dairy Development Programme. Representatives of the company led by its global CEO, Hein Schumacher were in the country to further strengthen their commitment to dairy production in one of its biggest markets.

The dairy company which produces Peak Milk has been at the epicentre of Nigeria’s dairy market revolution. Upon the announcement of this investment, the company is consolidating on its previous efforts to address the deficit in milk production in Nigeria.

“We are investing around €23 million 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,” said Schumacher

Launched in 2011, the Dairy Development Project (DDP) is a major programme initiated by the company which focuses on revamping dairy production in Nigeria. Thousands of local farmers have benefited directly in the initiative geared towards meeting the 1.1 billion litres yearly demand in the country.

According to PwC, yearly local milk production in Nigeria is far less than the than annual demand which has made huge importation of dairy products inevitable in the country. With a 700 million litre deficit and an annual $1.3 billion spent on importation of dairy products yearly in Nigeria, FrieslandCampina’s investment in local production could reduce the figures.

“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. 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,” said Schumacher while expressing his company’s vision for Nigeria local milk production.

The programme will empower youth and local cattle rearers in the dairy sector. Rural pastoral families will also directly be affected as the company plans to transform an additional 500 pastoralists to settled dairy farmers under the DDP model in addition to over 100,000 people who have been positively impacted.

“The establishment of suitable grazing reserves, provision of extension services, and setting up milk collection centres, improved access to pasture and water will also enhance dairy production,” Schumacher said.

With a population higher than 190 million people, the country is currently going through low local milk production, while importing more than 70 percent of its dairy products. No doubt, this huge investment from FrieslandCampina will not only boost the dairy market but also create thousands of jobs across Nigeria.

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