The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Scandinavian giant Arla, for the development of the dairy industry in Nigeria
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh who signed the MoU on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja says it line with governments plan on food security
Arla Foods is an international cooperative based in Aarhus, Denmark. It is the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia. Arla Foods was formed as the result of a merger between the Swedish dairy cooperative Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods on 17 April 2000.
It is the seventh largest dairy company in the world measured by turnover. Among the cooperative dairy companies Arla is the third largest in the world. At the start of 2010, 7,625 Danish and Swedish farmers members owned the cooperative.
Under the agreement, the dairy giant Arla, which produces and markets the Dano Milk brand in Nigeria, is expected to train 200 farmers and also produce 1,000 litres of milk per day.
Regional Office Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Steen Hadsbjerg, signed the MoU on behalf of his company says it will begin work in Kwara and Kaduna states and then include farmers across Nigeria.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, “the population of the country is growing so fast with an increasing population of children malnourished.
With the Federal Government’s school feeding programme, we fore-see a day, when every Nigerian child has a pack of milk per day to improve their health.
We are creating an enabling environment in the cattle breeding programme, where a poor widow in the village can own four or five cows to milk and have the facility to preserve them for local consumption”.
Ogbeh says Nigeria has a huge market with endless opportunities.
“We look forward to seeing a transmission of your knowledge to our farmers. 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 and we want this to change”.
The Senior Vice President and Head of Arla Foods for Sub-Saharan African – Mr Steen Hadsbjerg explained that Nigeria was chosen due to its vast potentials.
“We are here to build a sustainable dairy industry in Nigeria Arla is more than 130 years old and we have been in Nigeria for more than 30 years operating under the name of Dano, one of our global brand.
He said that signing this MoU, is a direct commitment aimed at proffering proper development of the dairy sector and the technical know-how to farmers in Nigeria.
“We will assist to develop the supply chain; we will work to ensure quality delivery of milk produced 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.