Stakeholders in the Kano dairy sector have said the various backward integration programmes (BIPs) embarked upon by Outspan Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of ofi (olam food ingredients) are stimulating growth, generating valuable employment opportunities as well as tackling long-standing issues in the sector. The local dairy sector has a strong potential to contribute extensively to national economic growth considering around 1.3 billion tons of milk are consumed in the country annually. However, niggling issues such as low productivity level, poor cattle health, the dearth of wider cold chain services, inefficient logistics systems, and low exposure to modern agronomic practices among smallholder dairy farmers, continue to stifle the sector’s potential.
Outspan set out to address these issues through its ‘Milk Mission’ initiative which combines a robust public-private partnership (PPP) strategy and unyielding focus on the Federal Government’s sectored development agenda to reposition the sector. The firm’s growth-driven strategic recourse has led to a valuable partnership between the Kano dairy union and Outspan Nigeria Limited. Speaking recently, Alhaji Usman Abdullahi Usman, the chairman of the Kano Dairy and Livestock Husbandry Cooperative Union (KADALCU), said the collaborative efforts ingeniously framed for the development of the key agriculture sector are yielding positive results.
Citing the positive impacts of the PPP framework in the Kano dairy sector, he said, “One of the goals of the union is to generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for the youth. With the intervention of Outspan Nigeria Limited, we have been able to secure motorbikes and tricycles which have been issued out to the youth vendors to go to the Fulani clusters and collect the milk for processing at the milk collection centres.” In the same vein, Dr Suleiman Musa Suleiman, a veterinary doctor and a dairy consultant expatiate on Outspan’s growing impact. He revealed that Outspan Nigeria Limited is providing solutions to the various challenges in the value chain. The business is investing in locating milk collection centres (MCC) closer to the dairy farmers in the different clusters.
According to him, “I happened to be part of the beginning of this whole partnership between Outspan Nigeria Limited and the Kano Dairy & Livestock Husbandry Cooperative Union (KADALCU); I even partook in the MoU signing process. To be honest with you, I am impressed. I am impressed in the sense that they made a promise, and they are fulfilling it. We have not had to start running after them to perform what they promised.” He continued, “We started with the challenges of milk collection; they have addressed the challenges by providing a number of milk collection centres (MCC) and a modern bulking centre that is well equipped with modern facilities, including solar-powered energy solution, which is good for rural, remote areas that are typical of a dairy settlement.”
He added that Outspan’s intervention programmes are helping smallholder dairy farmers address wastage which had consistently hampered output. The business also conducts training for the farmers to bring them up to speed with useful modern dairy farming techniques. Currently, there are four MCCs located close to the smallholder dairy farmers in Kano state. The centres are equipped with adequate cooling systems that are powered by off-grid equipment. Outspan has also provided transportation and cooling systems to ensure the quality of the raw milk produced in the region is preserved and optimized for industrial use. It also supported the farmers’ children with education materials during the commemoration of the 2022 World Milk Day (WMD).
Speaking recently at the commissioning of a newly procured cold truck for its MCCs, Paulsamy Praveen, the Vice President of ofi Dairy in Nigeria, said “We prioritize the actualization of the Federal Government’s economic development agenda, especially, in the dairy sector. The current value chain development initiatives, especially, the ‘Milk Mission’, encapsulate our absolute commitment to raising the productivity level in the dairy sector while engendering a performance scale that would push the sector towards fulfilling its economic contributory potential.”