Private Sector Investments Propelling Nigeria’s Dairy Value Chain

In recent years, Nigeria’s dairy production has witnessed remarkable growth, with milk production increasing from 229,000 tonnes in 1972 to 531,587 tonnes in 2021—a growth rate of 1.89 percent. Experts predict that Nigeria’s milk market will experience further expansion, projecting a 6.56 percent growth in the next five years. By 2028, the market volume is expected to reach $27 billion.

The annual demand for fresh milk production in Nigeria stands at approximately 560,000 to 570,000 tonnes, highlighting the need for both local and foreign investments to bridge the demand gap. To boost the dairy industry, stakeholders have put forth recommendations aimed at its enhancement. They emphasize the government’s adherence to the 2003 Maputo declaration, which calls for a 10% annual budget allocation to agriculture by African Union member states.

Agribusiness expert David Muraina suggests that the Bank of Agriculture Development and Commercial banks in Nigeria should offer flexible collateral requirements and reduced interest rates on loans for smallholder dairy farmers. He also emphasizes the formation and registration of dairy value chain clusters and cooperative societies as measures to strengthen the sector.

Muraina further recommends promoting local fabrication and production of food-grade dairy equipment for milk collection, transportation, and processing. Additionally, investing in animal health services at the community level would be advantageous. Muraina urges the government to devise policies that scale up milk production, collection, and processing while creating an enabling environment for increased activities along the dairy value chain. He commends private sector initiatives like Arla Foods’ recent investment in a state-of-the-art dairy farm in Kaduna, emphasizing their significance in boosting Nigeria’s dairy sector.

Recently, Arla Foods, the maker of Dano Milk, inaugurated its state-of-the-art dairy farm in Kaduna as part of its commitment to sustainable milk production in Nigeria. The farm, commissioned by former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has been hailed as a significant milestone and a game-changer for Nigeria’s dairy sector.

Executive Vice President of Arla Foods International, Simon Stevens, describes the completion of the farm as a tremendous achievement for the company, aligned with several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The project exemplifies the power of strong partnerships involving the Kaduna State Government, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, NGOs, and the farming community.

The Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sune Krogstrup, acknowledges Arla Foods’ commitment to boosting the local dairy segment of the agricultural value chain, expecting positive impacts on the economy of Kaduna State and significant contributions to Nigeria’s GDP.

The Head of Arla Foods West Africa, Mrs. Anna Månsson, states that the project’s commissioning marks the culmination of a series of events, starting with the signing of a lease agreement with the Kaduna State Government in 2021. Steen Futtrup, Vice President of Finance for the International Zone at Arla Foods, affirms the company’s dedication to Nigeria.

Managing Director of Arla Nigeria, Peder Pedersen, highlights the farm’s features, including its vast 400-hectare land, which accommodates 400 milking cows and 1,000 animals. The farm is designed to ensure optimal animal welfare and productivity.

Various experts stress the importance of encouraging more private sector investments like this, while urging all levels of government to prioritize education and capacity building for smallholder farmers. They emphasize the necessity of updating data on dairy production and livestock for accurate planning, as well as promoting the adoption of Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHPs) to ensure hygiene and a sustainable environment, as stated by Emeka Oji, a smallholder farmer.

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