The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Chief Audu Ogbeh, has commended FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, for pioneering local milk sourcing and development, and for improving the lives of Nigerian dairy farmers.
The Minister made these comments Monday July 10, while inspecting the local milk collection facilities of FrieslandCampina WAMCO in Fashola village and Iseyin town, Oyo State where the company’s state-of-the-art milk collection centres and offices operate under its Dairy Development Programme (DDP).
After inspecting the milk facilities and speaking with members of the host community, Chief 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. We appreciate and commend your commitment and investment because not many investors are willing to go this far. We are delighted.”
Observing that FrieslandCampina WAMCO investments have guaranteed steady incomes for the Fulani farmers as well as an improved lifestyle, Ogbeh also said: “We have seen Fulanis living in a Yoruba community and speaking fluent Yoruba. No fights, no quarrels, no threats of eviction. It is remarkable and FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s intervention should be commended for being instrumental to this.”
Responding, the Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ben Langat, thanked the Minister and explained: “No other dairy company in Nigeria has started collecting milk locally for production, only FrieslandCampina WAMCO, since 2011. Although there is a deficit of good infrastructure like roads, power and water, still we are grateful to the Honourable Minister, FMARD, Sahel and the Oyo State Government for partnering with us.
“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, while 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.”
On roads and water, Ogbeh also said, “Let me say from today that FrieslandCampina WAMCO can count on us to be your partners. Something has to be done about the roads not too long from now. 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.”
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. The company has five milk collection centres and one Bulking Centre for its Dairy Development Programme in Oyo State.