Kaduna State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arla to develop the Damau milk farm project, an initiative to sedentarise 1000 nomadic herders and their families in a determined effort to transform livestock production along commercial lines.
The project seeks to solve the security problem and chart a safer and more productive way to raise livestock, devoid of persistent farmer- herder clashes.
While signing the agreement at the Sir Kashim House, Kaduna, Governor Nasiru El-Rufai said, the Damau project has progressed well since Arla and the State government performed the groundbreaking on 17 January 2020.
According to him, the parties signed the service level agreement that unlocks further investment from Arla.
The Governor explained that the diary company will be settling one thousand Normads, not necessarily the Fulani families and will provide them with houses, schools, primary health centres and vet clinics.
“Their cows will be expected to produce at least twenty to thirty litres of milk daily compared to other cows that produce one to three litres daily. Their income is also expected to multiply twenty to thirty times, hence being far more prosperous to those that are normadics”.
El-Rufai said, with the development of the ranch, other Normads will realize that there are other means of raising livestock without having to encroach into people’s farms and causing problems.
“The project is both an economic and medium-term investment aimed at ending insecurity, if this works and happens to be replicated across the State, it will end the farmer/herder crisis. This is being done in one of our seventeen grazing reserves so if we extend it to other reserves, normalcy will return to the State”.
The Governor further stated that, the State is partnering with Miyetti Allah to select the 1000 beneficiaries, saying, applicants will be vetted and must not have any criminal records. “It will be a transparent process”.
El-Rufai thanked the CBN for agreeing to lend Kaduna State ten billion naira to ensure the success of the project while Arla is investing the sum of fifteen million euros. “So, if this works, we are hopeful to get our money back, sleep well at night and also send a message that it’s possible to do this without all the problems that we have seen”.
On his part, Ped Pedersen, MD Arla Global Dairy products said, the first phase of the project will be concluded in the next eight months but the whole project will be completed by 2022.
He prayed that the agreement signed by both parties will guarantee a good investment in the nearest future.
Pedersen said signing of the MoU will be a guide for both his company and the Kaduna State government, as well as an indication for his company to kickstart investment immediately.