Over the next five years (2020 – 2024), Sahel Consulting’s Advancing Local Dairy Development in Nigeria (ALDDN) will catalyse a vibrant local dairy sector in an inclusive way that improves the livelihoods, productivity, nutrition, and empowerment of smallholder women dairy farmers and the communities in which they live. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ALDDN will reach 60,000 dairy farmers in 15,000 dairy households in Adamawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Plateau states. The ALDDN launch event held at Fraser Suites Abuja. The ALDDN programme promotes a private sector-led and market-based approach to solve the problems inherent in the dairy sector while improving the livelihood of the women dairy farmers.
ALDDN will be implemented in partnership with 6 private sector dairy companies and with the support of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Women Affairs & Social Development, and the Governments of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, and Plateau States. The dairy processor partners are Arla Global Dairy Products Limited, Integrated Dairies Limited, L&Z Integrated Farms Limited, Majestik Integrated Dairy Farm, Saj Foods Limited, and Sebore Farms Limited, while Technoserve and Agridrive Limited are implementing partners on the ALDDN program.
In her welcome address, Ndidi Nwuneli, Sahel Consulting’s Managing Partner, referred to dairy as a silver bullet in the Northern Nigerian agricultural landscape, given its role in creating employment, improving livelihoods, addressing malnutrition and empowering women.
The ALDDN programme was officially launched by Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In his remarks, stated that Nigeria has 30 trillion Naira assets in livestock contributing about 17% to the Gross Domestic Product but the sector is neglected. The Minister thus expressed his appreciation to the Bill and Melinda Gates for funding the ALDDN programme and affirmed the government’s readiness to support Sahel and other implementation partners to ensure the success of the program. He however noted that ALDDN must appreciate the cultural context of the communities and existing systems as it tries to enhance those systems to improve the local dairy sector and improve livelihoods of Nigerians.
In his remarks, Dr. Paulin Basinga, Country Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the funder of the ALDDN program restated the Gates Foundation’s commitment to improving agriculture in Nigeria and his excitement at the leadership of private sector companies in the program, and their commitment to local sourcing. In addition, Dr. Audu Grema, Senior Program Officer, Agriculture, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, described the history of the program and its roots in the Nigerian Dairy Development Program. He also underscored the importance of dairy as it sits at the intersection between agriculture and nutrition and it is at the heart of the BMGF strategy focus areas – access to nutritious food, enhanced productivity and enhancing women empowerment and income.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Obai Khalifa, Senior Program Officer, Business Dev. & Private Sector Alliances – Agdev, Livestock, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He noted that the ALDDN program allows for a Government-enabled, private sectorled livestock development to serve the underserved, thus making it critical to the development of the local dairy sector. Mr. Khalifa cited examples from Kenya, India, New Zealand and the Netherlands, underscoring the clear gap between Nigeria’s productivity and some comparable countries and the potential for what could be accomplished with a focus on pastorialist organizations. He ended his keynote speech with a powerful quote by C.K. Prahalad – “If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.”
In his speech, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, who is also sits on the ALDDN National Advisory Committee, expressed his delight that ALDDN will be financing the supply chain of the dairy sector, as this is a key component of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. He thus, stated the need for data to be generated to support other interventions that will transform the dairy landscape. He restated that the NLTP implementation team to is happy to partner with Sahel in the program implementation.
The event was formally closed by Mr. Ernest Ihedigbo, Team Leader of ALDDN, who painted a very exciting and vibrant picture of the dairy sector in 2024, given the catalytic role that the program will play in the industry. In his words, “Nigeria must become a leader in diary in Africa, and ALDDN will galvanize stakeholders in all key sectors to achieve the realization of this achievable vision.” About Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited
Established in 2010, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited is committed to transforming Africa’s agriculture and nutrition landscape. Sahel partners with government agencies, private sector companies and leading international development organizations to conduct in-depth market research on key value chains, analyze and shape policies, develop strategies, launch innovative business and ecosystem solutions,, organize convenings and provide training programs that promote sustainable agricultural development across Africa.
Sahel’s mission is to transform Africa’s agriculture and nutrition landscape through tailored, innovative, and market-based research, strategic advisory services, training, and innovative business and ecosystem solutions, thereby impacting communities and achieving sustainable growth.
Its vision is to be recognized as the most trusted consulting partner and point of reference in the African agriculture and nutrition landscape, integral to building effective and efficient value chains and attaining food security.
Over the last 9 years, Sahel has worked with a range of clients to deliver high impact interventions in the agricultural and nutrition landscape in Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Sahel has built a formidable reputation as a dynamic and credible organization. The Sahel team members have also established strong networks and relationships with an array of contacts in the private sector, civil society, key agencies, institutes, and government parastatals that it engages. In addition, Sahel has a strong track-record of integrity and a high level of professionalism, with an experienced team of professionals committed to strong values of the organization.