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Dairy consortium develop high nutrient pasture for enhanced milk production

By Femi Adekoya
01 December 2021   |   2:52 am
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, has announced that its collaboration on the ‘Value4Dairy Consortium’ has recorded its first success in the area of developing commercial-scale high nutrient

[FILES] Dairy milk. Photo; PEXELS

FrieslandCampina WAMCO, has announced that its collaboration on the ‘Value4Dairy Consortium’ has recorded its first success in the area of developing commercial-scale high nutrient pasture that fits the Nigerian circumstances.

The partners of this consortium, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, URUS, Barenbrug and Agrifirm, committed themselves to improve milk production, breeding, feeding and roughage, to ultimately strengthen the dairy value chain in Nigeria.

According to Executive Director Corporate Affairs, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, “The ‘Value4Dairy Consortium’ has been working on long-term measures that will provide a solid foundation for sustainable growth in local dairy farming. Key to this growth is increasing milk production whilst investing in several critical building blocks required to achieve this, including high-quality pasture.

“Barenbrug selected a multitude of forage varieties to test here in Nigeria. Grass seeds adapted to our soil and climate, are a prerequisite to improve roughage production and conservation, crucial to increase the milk yield. We have seen positive results with this initial exploration in pasture development.”

Barenbrug’s Commercial lead for Africa, Douw Steyn said: “Barenbrug’s technical development team received the initial feedback from the forage trials located in different locations across Nigeria. Barenbrug’s Brachiaria varieties are performing very well from the start, as we expected in these tropical conditions.

“Besides Brachiaria, other forage species are being tested, and we plan to include new grasses and varieties to the existing trials next season. We are very excited about the solutions that these crops can provide to the Nigerian dairy sector, especially in terms of providing high-quality fodder throughout the year.”

After a series of training with FrieslandCampina WAMCO Dairy Development team on grass seeds and grassland management, Barenbrug invested in getting seeds to Nigeria and growing them locally at commercial farms that supply raw milk to FrieslandCampina WAMCO, including farms in Oyo, Kwara, Osun, Bobi grazing reserve in Niger, as well as Bowen University.

The objective of the study is to see which seeds perform best under Nigerian climate. This is one of the synergies of the Value4Dairy Consortium that has the mutual belief that Nigeria can only build a self-sustaining dairy value chain if all building blocks fall in place. Sufficient and good quality grass and forage are key building blocks to improving milk yield.

“The Value4Dairy Consortium’s strategy to bring the dairy sector in Nigeria to a higher level cannot be described as yet another development project, says Yvonne van der Vorst, Global Director, Dairy Development at Royal FrieslandCampina, who is closely involved with the Consortium. The Consortium seeks to provide sustainable solutions for the long term; solutions that really work in practice, solutions that will make the dairy sector self-sustaining. These partners with proven track records can bring great benefits to the dairy value chain in Nigeria.”