Danish company Arla has announced it has signed a letter of intent to assist local dairy production in Nigeria. Steen Hadsbjerg, director of Arla’s regional office, presented the letter to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, during a Danish business delegation to the West African country.
The company said that it will share knowledge about agricultural practices and other aspects of dairy production aimed to improve local raw milk production and quality. The Minister was invited to further discussions for the purpose of contributing to a sustainable dairy sector development and growth in Nigeria.
In Arla’s new Strategy 2020 the company said it expects to triple its revenue from consumer sales in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020, most of which is expected to come from Nigeria and the rest of West Africa. Arla’s revenue in the region in 2015 was $82.4m (€75m). In 2015, Arla looked at the Nigerian sector to assess how its increasing business activities in Nigeria impact the local dairy sector and if there are any negative effects on human rights of the local dairy farmers.
Arla concluded in its report that the dairy sector in Nigeria is suffering from a number of barriers, and that their presence in the market will be linked to a continuous underdevelopment of the Nigerian dairy sector if looked at in a broader perspective. In order to mitigate potential negative impact in the long run, Arla said that it has decided to engage in the development of the local dairy value chain.
Hadsbjerg said that he is currently in talks with a Nigerian dairy company and expects to disclose further details shortly.
“In order for Arla to have a long-term successful business in Nigeria, it’s important that we engage in the development of the local dairy sector. The Nigerian government looks very positively on the companies that commit to taking a local responsibility and help create a better balance between imported and locally produced dairy products in the market,” Hadsbjerg said.