The Denmark Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sune Krogstrup, has called for modern ranching as a way of curbing the perennial farmer-herder conflict and empowering local farmers in Nigeria.
The envoy disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while unveiling plans for the inauguration of Arla farm, a Danish-designed state of the art commercial dairy farm in Kaduna state.
The ambassador said the Arla farm project which is a public-private partnership with the Kaduna State government will be officially inaugurated on May 25 in Kaduna state.
He noted that the project was part of efforts to deepen strategic bilateral relations between Nigeria and Denmark, thereby reinforcing shared values and mutual cooperation.
He reiterated Denmark’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with Nigeria in the area of agriculture and food safety standards through cutting-edge technology and international best practices.
“In terms of Food and Agriculture, this is another important area of focus for us.
“We have a very good cooperation with Nigerian authorities on improving food safety standards and we are also very proud to cooperate closely with Arla the Danish dairy producer.
“In fact, next week (Thursday), I will be attending the formal opening of the Arla state of the art commercial dairy farm in Kaduna state,” he said.
Krogstrup expressed optimism that the farm, first of it’s kind in Nigeria will go a long way in boosting the local economy, empowering local herders and de-escalating tension between herders and farmers.
He therefore called for the establishment of such farm projects across the country by relevant stakeholders, due to its economic and security benefits.
“Now that farm (Arla) will have a tremendous impact on the local economy and economy in terms of direct and indirect jobs created.
“In addition, when herders setup to become milk farmers, it also reduces tensions over access to land between herders and farmers.
“So in my opinion we need many more projects like this one, he said.
NAN reports that Arla foods, the renowned Danish diary company (makers of Dano milk) recently took delivery of 216 Danish Holstein Heifers (a breed of cow) for its Kaduna dairy farm.
The farm project which started in 2019 as part of Arla’s plan to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Nigeria is set to create thousands of employment for farmers and locals, especially in the area.
NAN also reports that the Federal Government had in July, 2022 announced plans to increase milk production from the current 600,000 metric tonnes to 1.6 billion metric tonnes by 2024.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who gave the short-term target, said the government will provide the needed infrastructure to enhance milk aggregation and distribution and that the plan will reduce the 1.3 billion dairy importation bill. (NAN)
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