By Ibrahim Olayiwola/LAGOS// FrieslandCampina-led Value4Dairy Consortium has received $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to boost the productivity and sustainability of Nigerian dairy production.

The $5 million grant received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund 50 percent of the Consortium’s latest project, which is to advance systemic and sustainable local dairy production in Nigeria, Ore Famurewa, executive director, corporate affairs, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, explained while announcing receipt of the grant in a statement on recently.

She further explained that the Value4Dairy Consortium launched in April 2021 is a collaboration of four strategic partners with expertise in various agri-related value chains, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, URUS, Barenbrug, and Agrifirm.

The private sector consortium has developed a model that represents a pathway towards a self-sufficient, competitive, climate-smart and locally managed dairy sector, starting with three self-sustaining dairy zones in Oyo, Osun and Abuja. These zones will serve as hubs for training and supporting 10,000 pastoralists and smallholders, growing to include 40.000 milk producers in the subsequent years.

Each dairy zone will have a warehouse, outlets with dairy farming inputs, and two milk collection points, where FrieslandCampina WAMCO will collect the aggregated milk for processing into nutritious dairy products to feed more than five million Nigerians.

The consortium will leverage the partners’ expertise to provide local farmers access to the latest advancements in feed, breeding, sustainable farming practices, and routes to the market, enabling them to increase milk production at lower costs sustainably.

While the programme focuses on dairy sector transformation, it will also contribute to improving food security, raising farmer incomes, enhancing nutrition, reducing conflicts between herders and farmers, improving water access, and lowering greenhouse gas emission intensity.

Additionally, the programme is gender-intentional, as it includes dedicated interventions to empower women to participate in activities and earn additional income.

Also, Jeroen Elfers, global dairy development director at FrieslandCampina, stated, “FrieslandCampina has a longstanding commitment to building local resilient dairy value chains.

FrieslandCampina is committed to the growth and development of the Nigerian dairy sector and works with its partners in the Value4Dairy Consortium to support the development of a more robust dairy infrastructure.

We are very pleased with the grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as it will enable us to accelerate the project. It also makes it possible to build a more robust programme for the transition towards a sustainable, self-sufficient and inclusive dairy value chain in Nigeria” Elfers said.

Roger Adou, managing director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO said, together with our partners, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has created the largest dairy value chain in South-West Nigeria. With this project, we aim to further empower local farmers, increase milk production, and contribute to the nation’s agricultural prosperity.

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