Arla Foods, Kaduna State to scale-up dairy farming scheme

Danish dairy firm, Arla foods has partnered with the Kaduna State Government to establish a dairy development programme. The scheme would involve 1,000 families of herdsmen with 12,000 heads of cattle with an overall objective of developing the dairy sector.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed by Arla foods and the Kaduna State Government, the herdsmen will get a permanent farmland with access to water from the state and federal government, as well as veterinary and schools for the children of the 1,000 families who will generally live as a small community, while Arla as the commercial partner, would buy the milk, collect, process and bring it to market.

Speaking on the partnership, Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Arla Foods to grow and further improve our nation’s dairy industry. With our different competencies, together we can empower local farmers and promote market-driven sustainable dairy development in Nigeria”.

Steen Hadsbjerg, vice president, sub-Saharan Africa region for Arla Foods, said the partnership will build Nigeria’s dairy sector and “achieve Arla’s ambitions in West Africa”.

Kaduna state and the federal government are committed to improving the structural conditions for the nomadic farmers. Instead of continuously moving in search of grazing areas and water, land will be set up for the farmers to permanently base themselves and have opportunities to expand their farms. Securing the infrastructure such as roads, power and water, which are necessary to process and bring the milk to market, is also part of the public commitment.

The project will primarily be funded by loans provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and guaranteed by the local state. As the commercial partner, Arla will invest in establishing milk collection centres. These will be pivotal to Arla’s role as a processor of the milk produced by the farmers.

This new public-private partnership builds on the success of a collaboration initiated in 2016 with Kaduna state, the federal government, Arla and a number of NGOs including Care, the Danish Agricultural and Food Council, the local dairy cooperative MILCOPAL and the Nigerian pastoralist organisation Coret.

That collaboration works on a five-year project called the Milky Way Partnership to develop a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable dairy value chain. The partnership and project have demonstrated a viable scalable business model that has created both an increase in income and job opportunities for local farmers and employees in the dairy sector.

“Developing Nigeria’s agriculture sector will be an important pillar for the country’s growth and the private-public partnership is a strong model to drive this. The ongoing collaboration between Arla and Kaduna state government is a great example of the positive impact EU companies can bring when they engage with local producers and contribute to the federal and state government goal of creating 100 million new jobs of the next 10 years. This project has great potential to develop the local dairy sector and make a real difference in many farmers’ businesses and lives” said Jesper Kamp, Danish Ambassador to Nigeria.

See more photos from the signing ceremony

Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Jesper Kamp; Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe; Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the Vice President, Arla Foods, Steen Hadsbjerg at the signing ceremony

Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai shaking hands with the Vice President, Arla Foods, Steen Hadsbjerg at the signing ceremony

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