|It’s quite extraordinary that Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa and home to almost 200 million people, does not yet have a strong supply of locally sourced milk products. In 2011 FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, the country’s leading dairy manufacturer, decided to change this by introducing the country’s first ever milk producers’ up-skilling programme.
The Dairy Development Programme, formed in partnership with government and civil society, seeks to empower Fulani herdsmen to improve their livelihoods and become suppliers to FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC. They have milked for subsistence for generations but now things are changing and the results are impressive.
Of the hundreds of farmers engaged so far, many have increased their incomes by 50% as they now have a steady market for their raw milk through the company and its reach into Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Dairy production training, a free veterinary service and access to water for their cattle are also part of the mix.
Our crew visited Oyo State, a few hours drive north of Lagos, to investigate this inclusive partnership and meet the farmers and stakeholders who are making it happen.