NIGERIA – A consortium led by FrieslandCampina, a Dutch multinational dairy cooperative, has secured a US$5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance the productivity and sustainability of the Nigerian dairy sector.

The consortium, known as Value4Dairy established in April 2021, consists of strategic partners with expertise in various agri-related value chains: FrieslandCampina WAMCO, URUS, Barenbrug (and Agrifirm.

The grant will fund 50% of the consortium’s latest project, aiming to advance systemic and sustainable local dairy production in Nigeria.

The Value4Dairy initiative is designed to create a self-sufficient, competitive, climate-smart, and locally managed dairy sector.

It focuses on establishing three self-sustaining dairy zones in Oyo, Osun, and Abuja, serving as hubs for training and supporting pastoralists and smallholders.

The program aims to empower 10,000 individuals initially, expanding to include 40,000 milk producers in subsequent years.

Each dairy zone will feature warehouses, outlets providing dairy farming inputs, and two milk collection points.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO will collect the aggregated milk for processing into nutritious dairy products, ultimately benefiting over 5 million Nigerians.

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

The initiative addresses broader goals, including dairy sector transformation, improved food security, increased farmer incomes, enhanced nutrition, reduced conflicts between herders and farmers, improved water access, and lower greenhouse gas emission intensity.

Additionally, the program is gender-intentional, featuring dedicated interventions to empower women to participate in activities and earn additional income.

FrieslandCampina has a longstanding commitment to building local resilient dairy value chains,” Jeroen Elfers, Global Dairy Development Director at FrieslandCampina, stated.

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

Roger Adou, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO, emphasized the commitment to empowering local farmers, increasing milk production, and contributing to Nigeria’s agricultural prosperity.

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