A dairy company in Denmark, Arla, and Kaduna States Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on livestock development in the state.
The agreement was signed, Monday, in Kaduna by Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai and the Ambassador of Denmark in Nigeria, Amb. Jesper Kamp.
El-Rufai disclosed that Arla would use modern tools to change livestock production from a culture into a business, settle the nomads and promote jobs, economic development and security.
According to him, the state and Federal government will offer one thousand nomadic dairy farmers permanent farmlands and access to water, while the company will bring in its expertise, knowledge and capital to make livestock farming better.
“The Kaduna State Government believes that the development and operation of dairy ranches and production facilities in Kaduna State should be sustainably based on a business model, not a contract model.
“We are delighted to have a global dairy giant like Arla as the commercial and technical partner.
“The livestock production project at the Damau Grazing Reserve in Kubau local government area is expected to provide about 50,000 jobs in the state.
“The KDSG-Arla MoU seeks to develop, among others, the Damau Household Milk Farm Project as a sustainable business project that sedentarises nomadic herdsmen, genetically upgrades their stock and provides a route to market for their dairy produce.
“The Kaduna State Government is grateful to Jesper Kamp, the Ambassador of Denmark, for his support for our efforts to use a business model to promote jobs and development in our agriculture sector,” the governor said.
el-Rufai said the investment will address a major security issue not only in Kaduna state but across the Sahel.
“Our hope is that what we started with Arla leading to the development of the grazing reserve in Kubau local government area will show the nomadic herdsmen that it is possible to engage in modern livestock productions without having to go up and down the country.
“We aim to prove that it’s possible for livestock production to be a business rather than a culture, a habit or a lifestyle, but something that can empower, that can enrich the herdsmen and non herdsmen.”
El-Rufai noted that the success of the project would have far reaching impact on livestock management in the country, which could be replicated across the 15 grazing reserves in the state and across the country.
The Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Jesper Kamp, expressed delight that the initiative which began in 2016, has now developed into a full project.
“This is the first of similar projects and when this project is up and running many more can see the idea and it will be replicated.
“The concept of the project is about creating primary dairy production in Nigeria and also increasing it and settling nomads into being farmers and creating business model around it, so it becomes a sustainable project and also increasing the diary output.”
He said that the animals would be in a farm setting in full pledge settlements with social amenities.
The ambassador, however, said both parties were working to finalize the completion period, “which should be as soon as possible, possibly mid next year.”