Dairy farming is a branch of animal husbandry that deals with the management of female cattle for the sole aim of milk production. The milk is then stored under the required temperature before being transported to a processing site. The raw milk is then processed into various dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, evaporated milk, and many more. The dairy industry in Nigeria includes the production of milk, importation, processing, marketing, and consumption. It is a capital intensive venture involving a long-term investment plan and proper management.

dairy production
Picture of milk

Going by the statistics of the Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Peter Eshikena, 500 million litres of milk is being processed daily by the company and all the few dairy farms in Nigeria produced averagely 7000 litres daily, meaning that Nigeria produces less than 1% of her consumed with more than 99% being imported. With these fugues, it is embarrassing to say that Nigeria is the largest producer of milk in West Africa and the third-largest in Africa.

Despite the fact that Nigeria has the 4th largest cattle population in Africa with 2.3 million dairy cows, milk production remains considerably low due to the low milk yield of indigenous cows and poor management practices. Most of the dairy production in Nigeria is subsistent-oriented, that is, millions of people from pastoral communities in Nigeria are participating in the informal dairy industry. There is a need for further development of the Nigerian dairy sector.

Among the problems identified in milk production in Nigeria are low milk output of Fulani cows, poor grass quality that leads to low milk yield, and lack of storage and processing equipment. The cost of producing hay and silage can is sometimes high depending on the environment and availability of raw materials. All in all, a dairy animal requires up to 10kg feed/day optimally for optimum yield. Currently, the Nigerian dairy sector is still largely characterized by cattle ownership belonging to Fulani pastoralists who are nomadic and go for days on long distances to graze their cattle and look for pasture and water for them. This affects the quality and quantity of their milk. Also, milk production is really not the mainstay of most pastoralists, as the cattle they rear are mainly for beef production.

In Nigeria, there are two prominent breeds of cattle used majorly for milk production; the Adamawa Gudali(Bokolo) and the White Fulani(Bunaji). The Adamawa Gudali are native and predominant in Nigeria. The matured females weigh between 240kg to 355kg with an average milk yield of 4-5kg per day. While the Bunaji (White Fulani) matured females weigh about 250kg to 350kg with an average milk yield of 2.5kg-3kg per day.

Dairy farming is a capital intensive business avenue; it requires so much investment over time, technical expertise, standardized equipment, etc. The management must have the essential knowledge about the business and must have adequate support in order to scale. Networking with dairy investors will also be of great help. The milk production system through the support of the Nigerian Dairy Development Program by the government is gathering some momentum and favorable policies to encourage private businesses to form partnerships with existing stakeholders.

We are implementing a change in the dairy sector; Our main goal is to increase production and distribution of quality milk in Nigeria as well as the international market. We are ready as an organization to take up this challenge and add value to dairy farming in Nigeria. We implore you to be a big part of this investment scheme. Together; we can make more profit and more impact in the agricultural sector globally. The Dairy Farm will be open for sponsorship on our platform soon, we are looking forward to your sponsorship.

some of the technical partner officials visit the Farmcenta cattle ranch for assessment

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Farmcenta is an Agri-tech startup that seeks to improve rural farming by addressing farmer’s critical farming needs such as mechanized tools, high yield seeds, training on climate-smart agriculture techniques, and off-take harvest to increase food production in Nigeria and Africa. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for everyone to support SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Learn more by visiting our website at www.farmcenta.com or contact us via InstagramFacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn, or via email at info@farmcenta.com.