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World Milk Day: Dairy Farmers Welcome Impact Of Outspan Value Chain Investment

Dairy farmers in Kano have experienced improvement in productivity levels in the value chain and fewer conflicts between herders and farmers, through partnering with Outspan Nigeria.  Speaking during the 2024 World Milk Day commemorative event held in the state on Saturday, June 1, 2024, the farmers attested to the business’ backward integration investment impact.

Back Row (L-R): Abdullahi Usman, President of Kano Dairy Cooperative Union; Aliyu Yargaya, Vice Chairman of Dawakin Kudu LGA; Chioma Eze, Manager of Outspan Nigeria Limited; and Sani Umar, District Head of Dawakin Kudu with a section of dairy farmers’ children who benefited from the academic materials donated by Outspan Nigeria Limited, during World Milk Day commemoration, in Tassa Village, Dawakin Kudu, Kano State, on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Outspan Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of olam food ingredients (ofi), initiated a backward integration programme in the dairy value chain in 2019. In partnership with the Kano Dairy Cooperative Union, the business embarked on investment targeted at raising dairy farmers’ capacities, improving milk collection and storage facilities around farming clusters and scaling up cattle health support. The efforts triggered improved herd productivity and lowered the rate of open grazing which previously had led to conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

The efforts have also helped raise dairy farmers’ wives’ incomes and ensure more of their children are attending school. The 2024 World Milk Day, which focused on celebrating the vital role dairy plays in delivering quality nutrition to nourish the world’, therefore, provided an opportunity for dairy farmers and key stakeholders to extend gratitude to the business for the role it has played so far in their community.

Dr Hassan Muhammed Imam, a senior lecturer at the Kano State Polytechnic and Technical Assistant to the Senior Assistant to the State Governor on Cooperative Groups, during the event, recounted, “Conflict issues between the herdsmen and farmers have been in existence for decades. But the coming of Outspan Nigeria into the Kano dairy value chain has enabled dairy farmers to settle in one place and reduce unnecessary movement of herds which previously created a dispute between the Fulani herdsmen and local farmers. The intervention of the business has ensured the herdsmen can access feed for their cattle without roaming around farmlands. This arrangement has led to harmony in the communities.”

According to Salisu Dahiru, a dairy farmer and the Financial Secretary for Kano Dairy, “Before the coming of Outspan into Kano Dairy Cooperative we used to have a lot of crises in our localities. But since around 2019 and 2020 when we started partnering with the business the crises began to decline by about 70 to 80 percent. The business provided us with feed that reduced grazing. They also train us on how to raise dairy herd productivity.”

Commenting on improvement in farmers’ wives’ income levels and the number of farmer’s children that now attend school, Salisu said: “In the past, our wives would leave home around 7 am to hawk milk. They won’t return home till late evening. They also weren’t making much money. Now, Outspan sends vendors to pick up our milk on the farm, making it unnecessary for our women to hawk. They also earn more from selling directly to Outspan compared to hawking in the local market. Because the women now stay home and we make more money the children can attend school.”

Abdullahi Usman, the Chairman of the Kano Dairy Cooperative Union, and Sani Umar, the District Head for Dawakin Kudu LGA expressed gratitude for the support the cooperative continues to receive from Outspan.

Speaking at the event, Chioma Eze, Dairy Sales Manager, B2B, for Outspan Nigeria, remarked, “It has been five years since we embarked on this journey with Kano Dairy Cooperative Union, and we are very pleased to see the results of all our hard work come to fruition. What began as a small pilot project has grown into this successful venture, and we believe there is potential for it to grow to greater heights.”

Praveen Paulsamy, Vice President of ofi’s dairy business in Nigeria, said, “We are committed to the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda. We will continue to consider opportunities that enable quality investments in developing the local dairy value chain to drive more productivity in dairy farming communities.”

Annually, Outspan Nigeria in partnership with Kano Dairy convenes dairy farmers to commemorate World Milk Day. In keeping with past practice, activities organised by the business to commemorate the latest edition of the global event included the donation of educational materials such as school bags and exercise books to the farmers’ children. Pupils from selected schools in the communities also engaged in a quiz competition with Matage Primary School receiving the top prize.

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