The Federal Government has restated its support for local farmers to boost local production of dairy products in the country. The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri stated this during his meeting with a delegation from the Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria Plc. led by the Managing Director, Ben Langat in his office today.
The Minister said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is one of the Ministries piloting the present administration’s school feeding programme which has dairy products as part of its constituents and would render necessary supports for the optimal performance of the programme.
Senator Lokpobiri who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan noted that “Peak milk in Nigeria is a household name and every home takes it” stressing that, the Ministry would continue to partner with Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria and other relevant companies to make milk and other dairy products available for the masses.
The Minister mentioned rural infrastructure as one of the priorities of the Ministry to open up the rural roads for easy accessibility to farmers ,”We will continue to work together ,one of the needs of government’s support is to open up the rural areas, there is need to open up access roads to convey agricultural produce” he stated.
He described the company as one of the agricultural value chain and expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to address their request of infrastructure development particularly in Oyo state.
The Minister, who noted that the Ministry had so far trained about 2000 local farmers in dairy production, said the Ministry has a robust Department of Extension Services that would be mandated to further train additional local farmers in order to boost milk production in the country.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director, Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria Plc, Ben Langat said the delegation was in the Ministry to seek for more supports especially in the area of infrastructure to boost the company’s milk production locally. The Managing Director said their company had been very supportive of the dairy needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East and to ensure their continued commitment towards the nutrition of Nigerians, the company had engaged in capacity building for the rural pastoralists/farmers in order to increase their milk production to a target of 75 litre per farmer/day thereby creating jobs.
He disclosed that the company had built and opened four milk collection centres while the fifth one would be opened soon at Iseyin in Oyo state; he confirmed that their partnership with the Ministry had highly improved the quality of milk collection thereby reducing the hitherto high bacteria infection due to the use of traditional method of milk collection.