The Milky Way Project has achieved 1,000% increase in milk production, 200% percent increase in the income of milk producers and adoption of technologies by the stakeholders in five years, the Milk Value Chain Foundation has said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Dr Ishaq Bello said the five-year project, which will end in June, also achieved many intangible gains, which have led to the expansion of the concluded project into two new projects to take its place, one funded by the ECOWAS through Swiss Corporation and the other funded by the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He said, “We have achieved a lot. We’ve seen an appreciable increase in the number of clusters where we are collecting milk. We started with three, now we have 18. In milk supply, we started with an average of 250 to 300 litres per day; we have gone now to a maximum of 2,500 litres per day. That is significant. We’ve also seen a gross increase in income from the producers of 200 per cent increment. Those are real tangible things.
“We’ve also done a lot for the farmers, we’ve seen an improvement in their own adoption of technology which is key. We have had a lot of development partners coming to support us and develop the farmers. We’ve seen the Federal Ministry of Agriculture construct asphalt roads for farmers. We’ve seen Sahel through ALDDN Project construct boreholes for them; we’ve seen nomadic education provide extension staff and teaching materials. So we’ve individually and collectively improved the lives and livelihood of the farmers.”
Bello, who expressed appreciation to the Danish government and other development partners for their support on the project, said the Milky Way Project started in 2017 with the aim of boosting the source and production of milk and its value chain in Nigeria. This is to be achieved by addressing issues of dairy value chain by improving milk supply in Nigeria.
Irene Quist Montensen, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility of Arla Foods and one of the project partners, said the Milky Way Project has succeeded in Nigeria and will soon be replicated in Indonesia.
She said Arla conducts Responsible Business Conduct Workshops to ensure that Arla and its partners operate without causing harm to man and the environment.