BEN AGANDE, KADUNA
The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El Rufai on Monday said his administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Denmark company to boost dairy production in order to
show “itinerant nomadic herdsmen that it is possible to engage in modern livestock production without having to go up and down the country”.
The state governor signed the MOU with a Denmark company,
Arla foods international which were represented by its vice president, Steen Hadsbjerg.
When it becomes operational, the project is expected to create 50,000 jobs with an investment portfolio of €100million.
According to the governor of Kaduna, investment in the livestock sector will ensure security not just in the state but the nation.
“Our hope is that what we started with Arla leading to the development of the grazing reserve in Kubau local government; and we want to develop jointly with them, will show the itinerant nomadic herdsmen that it is possible to engage in modern livestock production without having to go up and down the Country.
“We want to show that it is possible for livestock production to be a business rather than a culture or habit or lifestyle but something that can empower and enrich our herdsmen and women.
“We are aware that there are many such proposals under consideration under various names but we have confidence that it is only through a private sector driven and managed programme that you have sustainability.
The government can facilitate, the government subsidize, the government can support but we believe that it is only we when have experts like Arla providing the technical assistant, the technology and managing and guiding then we put in our own efforts it has success” he said.
The governor said the MOU with Arms was a first step which the state government hopes to exploit and replicate in other parts of the state.
“Arla intends to invest a hundred million Euros in this project, this is a major investment that will create tens and thousands of direct Job opportunities, but more than that its success will provide a template that can be replicated across our other 15 grazing reserves and indeed across Nigeria, because herdsmen farmer problems is not just an economic or political problem but has today become a National security problem” he noted .
The government assured the company and the go ernnent of Denmark that “we will do whatever it takes to ensure that the project is a success because the success of this project will solve political, economic and security problems for Nigeria”.
Earlier in his speech, the Vice president of Arla, Steen Hadsbjerg said the signing of the MOU was a “step towards increasing milk production in the country.
“for Arla, this is a huge project, it is the first project of its kind that we are conducting in the world.
I’m happy to introduce our partnership which will increase our food production” he said.
The Denmark ambassador to Nigeria, Jesper Kamp said the embassy will continue to support the project to ensure that it succeeds.