Arla Foods, a Danish company and one of the biggest dairy firms in the world, has signed an investment deal of about $100 million with the Kaduna State Government to help boost milk production in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
This deal was announced by the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El Rufai, who disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed to boost dairy production.
Why this matters: According to the governor, the investment is aimed at creating about 50,000 jobs and encouraging nomadic herdsmen by showing them that modern livestock production is possible as a business.
“Our hope is that what we started with Arla leading to the development of the grazing reserve in Kubau local government; and we want to develop jointly with them, will show the itinerant nomadic herdsmen that it is possible to engage in modern livestock production without having to go up and down the Country.
“We want to show that it is possible for livestock production to be a business rather than a culture or habit or lifestyle but something that can empower and enrich our herdsmen and women,” he said.
El Rufai said investment in the livestock sector would ensure security not just in the state but in the nation. He also spoke about the willingness of his administration to make sure that the project was a success, emphasizing that the success of the project would solve political, economic and security problems for Nigeria.
More details: Speaking more about the project, El Rufai said that the investment would provide a template that could be replicated across the other 15 grazing reserves in Kaduna and across Nigeria. He stated that the fight between herdsmen and farmers was not just an economic or political problem but had also become a National security problem.
This project is a step in the right direction as it will increase milk production in the country.
What you should know: Many people criticised the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for proposing Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements in the country. Some were of the opinion that the initiative was political and had the potential of posing serious security challenges, especially in the southern part of the country.
Though the President has suspended the planned implementation of the RUGA policy, the investment made by Arla Foods may change the negative perception of RUGA, and give room for more related investments across the country.