The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has applauded the efforts of FrieslandCampina WAMCO, makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, in creating and successfully hosting Nigeria’s first Dairy Farmers’ Day programme, Thursday in Iseyin, Oyo State.
In a message delivered at the occasion, Ogbeh said, “This first edition of the Dairy Farmers’ Day highlights the importance of dairy farming in the provision of food and employment for rural farmers. It celebrates and encourages dairy farmers from the five Local Government Areas where the Dairy Development Programme (DDP) is currently being implemented in Oyo State. “Let me reiterate the Federal Government’s commitment to the success of FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s DDP which has taken a firm root in Oyo State and is spreading to other parts of the country.” Five dairy farmers emerged winners from the five LGAs where the DDP has produced excellent improvements in dairy farming standards, local milk sourcing, improved business model and farmers’ livelihood. Each winner of the award for good dairy farming practises got a brand new motorbike, which was presented by the Chairman Board of Directors, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Mr Moyo Ajekigbe. The winners are Adamu Aliu Poku of Fashola LGA, Kadade Amodu (Alaga LGA), Mohammed Osomo (Iseyin LGA), Amuda Yusuff Aliu (Maya LGA) and Abdukareem Jubril (Saki LGA).
In his address, the Managing Director, Mr. Ben Langat said, “As a company, we will continue lead in steering economic solutions in the dairy sector and play a key role in the ongoing efforts to improve and maximise the potentials of dairy farming in Nigeria. Today’s event celebrates all our farmers across the communities here in Oyo State where the Dairy Development Programme is currently being implemented. It also facilitates knowledge exchange and experiential learning between our local dairy farmers and dairy experts from within and outside Nigeria.”
FrieslandCampina WAMCO also invited two Dutch famers – Gerben Smeenk and Herman Bakhius – under its Farmer2Farmer Programme from The Netherlands. Both men shared experiences and their knowledge of best global dairy farming practices with their Nigerian counterparts and in turn learnt, identified and discussed challenges facing Nigeria’s dairy sector. They also proffered solutions.
The event featured presentation on the theme: “Dairy Farming: A Business Lead for Economic Growth” as well as panel discussions. Over 300 farmers attended the celebration, cheerful and dressed in the same cultural attire worn by the management of FrieslandCampina WAMCO. Also celebrating the Nigerian dairy farmers were the Ambassador of The Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr Robert Petri; Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; representatives of the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), 2Scale-IFDC; Sahel Capital Partners; Students from the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan and Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan.
The Dairy Farmers’ Day rounded off with an exhibition by key players in the dairy sector namely, Animal Care, Top Feeds, Real People Concept, Terratiga, Festola Farms and CEVA Sante Animale, among others. The exhibition included simulations of good dairy practices, artificial insemination, animal health and nutrition, vaccines, forage production, veterinary equipment, animal reproduction technology and management.