Kwara State governor, Dr. Abubabakar Bukola Saraki on Thursday (August 19, 2010) commissioned a Dairy Development Program at Shonga in the Edu local government area of the state. The aim of the program is to make the products of the Shonga dairy consortium more accessible to members of the the public.The program is a joint project between the Kwara State government, WAMCO Campina Friesland (makers of Peak, Three Crowns, and Friso brands of milk), and the Shonga dairy consortium.
Under the program, the Shonga dairy consortium will supply WAMCO Campina Friesland with fresh milk for production purposes. This will be the first fresh milk collection initiative of WAMCO Campina Friesland in 35 years of operation. The Shonga dairy consortium currently has one of the largest dairy farms in the country. It has 850 milking cows, and is capable of producing 60,000 liters of fresh milk per day.
According to the The Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO, Mr. Bob Steetskamp, the program was made possible by the commitment of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, whom he met at a meeting of stakeholders in the Nigerian agricultural sector about 6 months ago. He revealed the that the meeting was a turning point for WAMCO, which decided to embark on the Dairy Development Programme speedily. He expressed the readiness of WAMCO to explore all opportunities to ensure the success of dairy development in Nigeria. He however called on the Feedral Government to provide moral and material support to overcome bureaucratic problems among others.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the commisioning of the Dairy Development Program further goes to show the commitment of his administration to its commercial agricultural project. According to him, “with the commissioning today, it will further prove to the people that we mean business.” Indeed the Kwara State Government under Dr. Bukola Saraki has been unflagging in its commitment to its commercial agriculture project, leaving nothing to chance in order to ensure its success.
Dr. Saraki said that his administration wanted to demonstrate to the whole country that its policies and programs were achievable. He also called on the Federal government to follow suit by creating an enabling atmosphere to encourage firms to come and invest in the country. He observed with dismay the low quality of milk available for sale in the Nigerian market. He pointed out that the modern milk factory of the Shonga dairy consortium produces ultra-high temperarure (UHT) milk, which is of high quality.
Mr. Jacob Ajekigbe, the chairman of the board of directors (WAMCO) also spoke at the event. He commended the hpst communities for their cooperation and expressed the willingness of WAMCO wo carry the partnership to the next level.