The Nigerian Government and local dairy firm, L&Z Integrated Dairy Farms based in Kano have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at developing the dairy sector and helping to tackle the recurring Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria.
The MOU signing which took place in Abuja had the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh sign for the Federal Government, while L&Z Integrated Dairy Farm chairman Keith Richards signed for the company.
Chief Ogbeh decried the high amount of imported powdered milk and other dairy products running into millions of dollars, which he said has negatively impacted the economy over the years.
He however expressed optimism that the MoU signing would help accelerate the development of the dairy sector; help improve nutrition and curtail the migration and roaming of herdsmen, an unhealthy situation for the sector.
“The conflict between herdsmen and farmers is very undesirable for a country that has 45million hectares of empty land; having to watch herdsmen wander around and getting into conflicts with crop farmers but because we have neglected this sector for too long we have the crisis with us and the best way to solve it is by retracing our steps and doing what L&Z has done and what they are willing to do.”
Chairman, L&Z Integrated Dairy Farm, Keith Richards and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh signing the MoU
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, L&Z Farms, Keith Richards, said: “Nigeria is no doubt feeling the negative impact of herders roaming around and realizing that there is a lot of contribution they can make to the economy when this is stopped.”
L&Z Dairy Farms which started in 1999 now processes 3,000 liters of milk a day into yoghurt, ice cream, and other dairy derivatives with a capacity to increase to 24,000 liters per day. It has risen over time to become a household name across various states for quality dairy products and one of the major suppliers for supermarket chains nationwide, including Shoprite.
The MoU would facilitate the formation of herdsmen co-operatives, add value to their businesses and enhance the collection of raw milk for production. The MoU will also enable the training of herdsmen on best practices in livestock production with quality service delivery for improved dairy production in Nigeria.