Nigeria’s premium milk manufacturers and makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been lauded by the Federal Government through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, for pioneering local milk sourcing and development, and improving the lives of dairy farmers.
The minister made the commendation while inspecting the local milk collection facilities of the company which runs under its Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in Fashola Village and Iseyin Town, Oyo State, during the week.
Ogbeh said: “It will be wonderful if each Nigerian child can get two pints of fresh Nigerian milk daily and we express the gratitude of government to FrieslandCampina WAMCO for ongoing efforts in this regard.
Noting that the company’s investments have guaranteed steady incomes for Fulani farmers as well as an improved lifestyle, Ogbeh added: “It is remarkable and FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s intervention should be commended for being instrumental to this.”
In responding to the minister, the Managing Director, Ben Langat, expressed his gratitude for the recognition. He said apart from FrieslandCampina WAMCO, no other dairy company in Nigeria has started collecting milk locally for production since 2011.
Langat said although there is serious infrastructure deficit such as roads, power and water, the company was still grateful to the minister, the ministry and the Oyo State government for partnering with it.
“So far, we have provided 15 boreholes in the communities here in Oyo State. We are in this for the long run. We are investing funds and expertise in artificial insemination, cattle feeding and pasture for high yield in order to raise locally sourced milk to the desired levels for production” Langat said.
Chief Ogbeh assured FrieslandCampina WAMCO of government’s continued partnership. He affirmed that improved local production of milk was the only panacea to lack of adequate milk supply.
“Indeed, we need to improve the breed of our cattle and the ministry will partner with FrieslandCampina WAMCO to develop the programme. The import bill on milk is very high, while milk consumption among young people is too low. We can’t continue like that because of the effect on their brain and capacity,” the Minister said.
He promised that government will soon address the challenge of roads, water, and other necessary infrastructure. “We are happy to see the families, women and the community leaders and we will help with more boreholes as the ministry has rigs and we will deploy them here,” he assured.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been investing in the DDP since 2011 and has established the country’s largest milk collection network. Today, the company collects milk from about 1700 farmers in over 70 communities in Oyo State. It has five milk collection centres and one Bulking Centre for its DPP in Oyo State.