Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on investors in the dairy industry to facilitate backward integration in the sector, including providing incentives for local dairy farmers.
Professor Osinbajo made the call on Friday when he received a delegation from FrieslandCampina led by its Global CEO, Mr Hein Schumacher, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“I think that Friesland needs to, on its own, do something because there is really no incentive for backward integration,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media assistant, Mr Laolu Akande.
“I think that there is a need for you to do more in terms of local production and set some timelines. Maybe after six years, you should be doing 70 per cent and not 10 per cent. My view is that if we go at the current rate, it will be extremely difficult for the local producers to move up.”
The vice president stressed the need to develop a robust plan for extending the dairy development programme across the country.
Although he said backward integration was very crucial, he decried the lack of incentives for the initiative.
To address the issue, Professor Osinbajo proposed a programme aimed at putting the dairy farmers in a position where they can produce more.
“There should be a very robust plan to encourage cattle breeders to actually increase yields so that we can say, after a particular period, 70 per cent of products should be locally produced but the problem, I must say, is still the lack of incentives,” he said.
Osinbajo assured the delegation of the Federal Government’s readiness to support the country to actualise its set business objectives.
He also called for a better synergy between the public and private sector.
Mr Schumacher informed the vice president earlier that the company had developed a plan to grow local dairy industry through a small-holder farmer dairy programme in the country.
He urged the Federal Government to support the company’s development plan by improving infrastructure in its operational base in Oyo State and also providing tax incentives for its new investments.
The delegation also included the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Robert Petri, and the Chairman of the FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Mr Jacob Ajekigbe, as well as other management staff of the company.