Global diary foods manufacturer, Arla Foods has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian government to help improve local dairy production in the country.
Mr Steen Hadsbjerg, the Senior Vice President and Head of Arla Foods for Sub-Saharan African, said the company’s choice of Nigeria was hinged on the large scale of opportunity which the country possesses.
“We are here to build a sustainable dairy industry in the country. Arla is more than 130 years old. We have been in Nigeria for more than 30 years operating under the name of Dano, one of our global brands.
“We have moved from globally number five to recently to number four and targeting to be number three next year. By signing an MoU on behalf of the company today, we want to take the business seriously.
“We are committed to do proper development to supply technical know-how to farmers in Nigeria.
“We will assist to develop the supply chain; we will work to ensure quality delivery of milk produce here to meet international standards.
“We will work with international NGOs and use our connections in the EU to support the Nigerian government in this project. We will talk and work with the farmers directly based on local milk production,” he said.
According to him, the company is committed to train about 200 farmers in the first year.
“It intends to start in Kwara and Kaduna states, while in the MoU, we have specified we will start working with farmers all across Nigeria. For now, we have signed an agreement that would last till 2020,” he added.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who signed the MoU on behalf of the government, said that the Nigerian Government in line with its plan on food security, welcomes companies and initiatives that would help in the development of the agricultural sector.
“We want to assure you that the Nigeria market is huge and opportunity is endless.
“We are looking at feeding about four hundred (400) million persons in West Africa by 2050.
“Let this be a synergy and not just a business. The cows are not properly taken care of so the quality and quantity of milk, beef they produce is low.
“We look forward to seeing a transformation of your knowledge to our farmers,” Ogbeh said.