How Niger, FrieslandCampina MoU on Grazing Reserve vindicated scheme
The recent signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on milk production between FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC and Niger State Government in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari and visiting Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Rutte, has demonstrated the excellent merit of grazing reserve over the archaic nomadic gazing route system.
It would be recalled that shortly after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, there were sudden surge in herdsmen/farmer crisis due to the insistence of cattle breeders to be moving from one place to another which farmers saw as very destructive to their farms.
In fact, statistics showed that deaths from herdsmen/farmers clashes surpassed killings by insurgency in 2018 and more killings very reported in Benue State following the enactment of Gazing Reserve law which outlawed going up and down with cattle herds.
Even though the killings seem to have subsided, there are momentary reports of killings and related clashes across the country since this year.
However, industry analysts say with the latest MoU between Niger State Government on Bobi Grazing Reserve with FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, many Nigerians, especially those in authority, who had been against the global best practices of grazing reserve, will begin to see the light of modernism.
Business Hilights Northern Nigeria Bureau Chief reports that the agreement is for 10,000 hectares of land at the Bobi Grazing Reserve in the state under FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s Dairy Development Programme.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Rutte, witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, and the President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Mr Roel van Neerbos, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement made available by the multinational said the public-private partnership was in line with the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan seeking to grow livestock farming and transform the dairy sector into an economic force.
The company recalled that “The MoU acknowledges the nine-year successes of the FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s Dairy Development Programme (DPP) in Oyo, Ogun and Osun states.
“It, therefore, seeks its replication and expansion of local dairy production at the reserve, as well as training of dairy cooperatives in Niger State on best global practices.
“Currently, the company has developed pasture on 1,000 of the 10,000 hectares of land assigned to it at the Bobi Grazing Reserve and established key infrastructure including a milk collection centre with a high capacity cooling tank and high-quality milk testing equipment,” the firm said.
Explaining more, the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, said the DDP was officially inaugurated by the firm in August, 2010 in Kwara State.
“This climaxed with the signing of a MoU between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria as its partner on dairy development in April, 2011 and was subsequently renewed in June, 2016.
“The DDP enables dairy farmers to run their businesses optimally with higher yields and better milk quality.
“This successful and unique model has benefitted over 7000 farmers, including 950 women, with milk bulking centre, six milk collection centres and 20 milk collection points across Oyo, Ogun and Osun states,” Famurewa averred.