June first every year is World Milk Day. This year’s celebration is notable for Nestlé’s Nigeria Livestock Development Project (NLDP), with the milestone of 2,500 litres of fresh milk per day from only 200 litres collected on the first day of milk collection on June 1, 2021. A collaboration between Nestlé Nigeria, ‘CBiIL’ and 2SCALE, NLDP delivers 1,500 L/day at Paikon Kore Grazing Reserve and 1,000L/day at Kachia Grazing Reserve.
Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, affirms that the collection of 2,500L/day was made possible by 25 cooperatives comprising over 625 households milking between 4,000 and 6,000 cows every day. These cooperatives have been trained and nurtured for over 18 months to achieve the good quality fresh milk now produced through the project.
The celebration of World Milk Day 2022 at Paikon Kore provided a platform for recognising and rewarding the farmers who excelled in various aspects of milk production. Categories of awards included Highest Producing Male (Abdulrahman Rabia), Highest Producing Female (Rabia Raga), Best Aggregator (Shehu Muhammed), Best Cooperative Kosan Denko, Best Milking Community, and Aggregator with Least Spoilage (Adamu Abdullah). The recipients were delighted and expressed their thanks to Nestlé and the NLDP.
The ceremony was attended by stakeholders and dignitaries, including The Mandate Secretary, ARDS, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, and Permanent Secretary, FCT, Mr Olusade Adesola, ably represented by Mr. Samuel Atang, Director, Operations, Planning and Strategy. Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development were also at the event.
Mr Olusade Adesola, The Permanent Secretary, FCT, said, “It is glad to note that milk production has steadily increased from 150 to 1,500 litres daily within the past two years of this partnership. I have been made to understand the products from this centre are being sold in markets within and outside the Federal Capital Territory.”
Also speaking, The Mandate Secretary, ARDS, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, said, “It may interest you all to know that since the reactivation of the MCCC in 2021 in partnership with Nestlé Nigeria PLC, daily milk production has risen from between about 300 to 1,500 litres. This is a result of continuous training and improvement initiatives by both partners and support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. If plans by the NLDP partnership to introduce new cattle breeds and a demonstration farm are anything to go by, milk production in the FCT will receive a boost.”
Nestlé continues to leverage its expertise in dairy to help build a sustainable dairy ecosystem through the NLDP to achieve its objective of Creating Shared Value with Nigerian dairy value chain stakeholders. The program contributes to the local economy by providing the training and empowerment of the locals and then purchasing services from them.
NLDP is built on three pillars: Better Fodder, Better Quality, and Better Products. This will be achieved by improving cooperative dynamics, promoting better herd health, and engendering hygienic milk collection and handling practices.
The NLDP has trained over 1,400 producers in modern Milk Handling and Milking Hygiene techniques to help them produce to industry standards, thereby opening more routes to market. Nestlé pays a premium above the market rates in addition to helping the families increase production and improve the quality of their products.
Nestlé has helped improve cattle health within the NLDP by deworming and vaccinating over 6,000 cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease. They were also treated against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS). The 6,000 cattle also received vitamin and mineral blocks (salt licks).
Another significant investment by the NLDP is the provision of Better Fodder which includes sufficient clean water, balanced pasture, silage, and hay. Over 250 hectares of Napier Grass and Bracheria have been cultivated and 5 Industrial boreholes built and commissioned. Three of the boreholes are fitted with drinking troughs for the cattle and taps to provide portable water to the communities. To further boost milk production, Nestlé is providing Cotton Seed Cakes which have the potential to increase milk productivity by up to 2L per cow.
To maintain milk quality from milking to the processing centre, milk must be handled carefully and kept at a temperature of about 2 degrees Celsius. Each of the 23 aggregators employed under the NLDP project is trained to maintain these quality standards. They test for spoilage and adulteration at the collection point. A motorbike, milk churns, and lactometers are also provided to facilitate their work.
The aggregators get the milk to the Milk Collection and Cooling Centers (MCCC) in the shortest possible time for cooling and bulking at the requisite temperature after a 4 step quality check.
Nestlé equips the MCCCs with modern laboratory equipment to ensure food safety is maintained at industry standards. The staff are trained and issued the right gear to conform to the set safety standards.
In line with Nestlé’s commitment to protecting the planet for future generations, the NLDP has adopted climate-friendly practices: A 30KVA solar power system has been installed to reduce the fossil fuels used at the MCCC in Paikon Kore. The industrial boreholes are also solar-powered.