By Chioma Umeha
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and one of the country’s leading dairy companies, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, makers of Peak, Three Crowns and Friso brands of milk have renewed their memorandum of understanding (MoU) on dairy development in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief AuduOgbeh, and the Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Mr. Rahul Colaco, signed the MOU at a ceremony held in Abuja, recently.
WAMCO is the first dairy company in Nigeria to sign such a pact with the Federal Government. The Minister and his team had visited the Netherlands earlier in the year, to see how the Dutch dairy chain is organized from “grass to glass” and how FrieslandCampina guarantees the safety and quality of her products.
A statement issued by the company’s Corporate Affairs Director, Ore Famurewa, explained: “This is an enormously positive development for FrieslandCampina WAMCO and we see our partnership with the Federal Government as key in rolling out new dairy programmes designed to safeguard food and nutrient security in Nigeria.
“Five years ago in 2011, we signed an MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to improve dairy farming and we made good progress in areas such as networking of milk suppliers, training of dairy farmers and improving the quality of raw milk. “Today, we are restating our mutual commitment to developing the Nigerian local dairy industry by creating a sustainable value chain that contributes to food security, provides jobs and prosperity,” she said.
Famurewa confirmed the company’s decision to invest N3 billion in its small holder dairy farmer programme in Nigeria and has also agreed to provide support to a FMARD subsidiary, Milcopal, in Kaduna.
The Dairy Development Programme (DDP) is an initiative of WAMCO Nigeria PLC. It is a private-public partnership that will trigger growth in the agro-economic sector of Nigeria.
The DDP is significant in the history of FrieslandCampina WAMCO “and we believe it will enhance dairy farming in Nigeria as it affirms our unwavering commitment to the provision of quality dairy nutrition to Nigerians,” Famurewa said.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief AuduOgbeh; the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Shehu Ahmed; Hon. Mohammed Monguno, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture Production and Services, National Assembly; Dr. Danazumi Mohammed Ibrahim, Director General National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion; Chairman, Board of Directors, WAMCO, Mr. Jacobs MoyoAjekigbe and the Managing Director, WAMCO, Mr. RahulColaco.