By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Kano Dairy and Livestock Husbandry Cooperative Union (KADALCU) Chairman Usman Abdullahi Usman has announced that the state has the capacity to produce about 30,000 liters of milk per day.
Speaking in a recent interview, he went on to explain that the dairy industry in Kano contributes nearly 24 percent of all locally produced milk at the national level.
According to him, “This is because Kano State has the largest cattle population and the relative level of peace in the state attracts new settlers to the state as ranchers flock to Kano in greater numbers.”
“Furthermore, Kano also enjoys a higher population in terms of human resources. This creates a larger market for milk consumption,” he said.
Mr Usman also revealed that the support of a private organisation, Outspan Nigeria Limited, the dairy division of Olam Food Ingredient, has made the business attractive to herders.
Outspan has partnered with the organization to provide member farmers with a regular and sustainable milk market, putting an end to roaming or open grazing among farmers.
The company buys the raw milk from the association and processes it into various product variants.
The agreement between both parties was signed in 2020. It aims to develop and implement a backward integration plan aimed at improving and supporting the dairy value chain in line with the federal government’s Dairy Self-Sufficiency Plan.
Speaking on how the union is fulfilling their side of the agreement, the KADALCU boss said: “As a cooperative union, we value quality and standards and we want to ensure that our customers’ milk meets the best global quality standards. For this reason we have implemented strict milk testing parameters.”
“We have a so-called quality control unit. We train dairy workers to do basic testing on raw milk brought into the milk reception center to determine the density level of the raw milk to avoid adulteration and the PH level of the same to make sure it doesn’t go sour,” added he added .
He explained that the union collects raw milk from its members and stores it in a larger milk collection center for a maximum of 48 hours.
“However, the technology is almost similar to that available at the milk collection point. We ensure that the milk does not remain in the centers for too long. This milk comes 100 percent from locally raised cows.
“Of course we get milk from crossbred cows, but that’s rare. [About] 99 percent of our milk comes from local cows,” he said.
“In Kano alone we have the capacity to produce 30,000 liters or more milk per day. Only this milk cannot be picked up because the farms are in distant cities. Logistics, human resources, culture system and training in milk handling/transport must be in place here. For these reasons, the milk is not collected.
“But with the arrival of Outspan Nigeria Limited, I am sure that the gaps in the system will be closed sooner to ensure effective collection of milk from distant clusters,” Mr Usman remarked.
He announced that “an initiative called the Agro-Pastoral Development Program is currently underway that aims to help ranchers. There is also a project being driven by a partnership between the federal and state governments that aims to improve our operations. The federal government has given the dairy farmers strong support. It donated and equipped the bulking center modernized by Outspan Nigeria Limited.”
The Chairman announced that KADALCU serves as an umbrella organization for 74 primary cooperatives from different local government branches of the state.
According to him, the cooperative association has around 12,500 members from the 74 cooperatives that have been divided into three senate districts or zones of the country.