Outspan Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary company of ofi, has stepped up efforts to improve local milk production.
As a follow up on the establishment of two additional milk collection centres (MCC), an upgrade of a local bulking centre, and an artificial insemination exercise carried out on 100 cattle to boost the genetics of local dairy breeds in Kano, Outspan recently organised a capacity-building programme on dairy production management for smallholder dairy farmers in the state to deepen its backward integration programme in the dairy value chain.
The local milk production expansion efforts undertaken by Outspan are geared at helping the federal government achieve its policies of reducing the importation of critical food produce whose production can be successfully scaled up locally by redirecting investment to raising the standards of local agriculture infrastructure and equipping local smallholder farmers with the knowledge of latest farming practices.The recent capacity-building training was executed in conjunction with the Kano Dairy and Livestock Husbandry Cooperative Union (KADALCU), which comprises over 70,000 smallholder dairy farmers. The intense dairy farming training initiative is aimed at expanding both upstream and midstream segments of the dairy value chain to strengthen the knowledge and skill levels of the cooperative’s members and milk collectors at the MCC. It is believed that this scaled strategic intervention will ensure sustainability and consistency in milk production quality and volume within the dairy farming community.
Speaking about Outspan’s milk production value chain development efforts, Mr Praveen Paulsamy, General Manager for ofi Dairy in Nigeria, said, “Through our purpose to re-imagine global agriculture and food systems, we aim to address the many challenges involved in meeting the needs of our local markets while achieving positive impact for the farming communities, our planet and our stakeholders.”
He added, “We are partnering and investing on Kano dairy union cooperatives to improve the output levels of the 70,000 strong smallholder dairy farmers’ group that make up the union by upscaling, finetuning and expanding their farming operations via farming infrastructure upgrade, the introduction of members to trending farming practices and innovations. This latest capacity-building initiative has no doubt exposed the smallholder dairy farmers to new skills, which will come handy in all their dairy farming practices.”
On the impact of the capacity-building initiative, Dr Celestine Ayok, a dairy consultant, who trained the smallholder farmers, said, “Overall, it is quite obvious the dairy farmers accepted the pattern of the training module adopted during the training and from our general assessment, there was an increase in knowledge and skills of the participants after the training.”