The groundbreaking ceremony of Damau Household Dairy Farm was held in January 2020. After two years, what is the current stage of the project?
I’ll give a brief background on the project to give some context. The Damau Household Dairy project aims to develop a farm settlement that will house up to 1,000 herdsmen who will mainly engage in dairying and other farming activities.
The project site is located in Damau Forest Reserve, Kubau Local Government Area. The settlement will be built in three districts, each of which is close to 1,800 hectares. Each district is further divided into eight to nine clusters with 40 farmers per cluster (each cluster is 200 hectares). Therefore, approximately 320-360 households are expected to be located in each district. There is also 600 hectares of irrigated land for fodder production during the dry season.
Each farmer and his family holdings are entitled to about five hectares of arable land, including a farm house, cattle and calf shed. Of the five hectares of land, 0.5 hectares will be reserved for housing and gardens, and 4.5 hectares for fodder production, in addition, 0.6 hectares of irrigated land will be allocated to each house. Each farm will start with three crossbred cows for milk production and rearing, and each farm’s plot of land has the capacity to feed eight such cows, including breeding stock. The farm will also have facilities like electricity supply and drinking water, skill acquisition centres, primary health centres, school blocks, veterinary clinics, market blocks and stalls, toilet blocks and security posts along with electricity supply and drinking water.
Over the past year and a half, we have focused on providing and building infrastructure for the farm, with a focus on site access and mobility; that is, the construction of approximately 130 kilometers of 10-meter-wide roads, 37 culverts, and two bridges is about to be completed.
In March of this year, we started the pilot phase, the 1st phase of the project. We have started construction of 400 out of 1000 cattle sheds and calf sheds, two skill acquisition centres, two primary health centres, two school blocks, two veterinary clinics, two market blocks/stalls, six toilet blocks and four security posts. In addition, we develop 240 hectares of 600 hectares of irrigated land for private grazing and irrigation systems, 800 hectares of 4,500 hectares with two hectares per household for private grazing and irrigation systems, fence the perimeter of farms, provide water as well as power supply and network . . We supply 1200 head of 3000 crossbred cattle.
Is it likely that the entire project will be completed within the next eight months before the current administration leaves office?
No. As I mentioned before, the project will be implemented in three stages, the first stage will be started in March this year. A pilot phase of 400 farm houses and farm infrastructure will be completed and operational by the end of this administration’s tenure. We intend to complete all procurement and construction work by February 2023.
However, management is sustainable and the completion and operation of the first phase will serve as a proof of concept by demonstrating to all project stakeholders that His Excellency, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s new initiative is feasible. It will also serve as a learning experience in the execution of the other two phases, avoiding avoidable mistakes and repeating positive aspects.
What is the essence of the project? Is this a Public Private Partnership or a purely Kaduna State Government initiative?
It is both. The project is modeled as a Public-Private Partnership between the Kaduna State Government (KDSG) and private sector parties, particularly Arla Foods Ltd and other organizations such as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, to support job creation and market-based growth for Kaduna dairy products. value chain also promotes and creates markets for dairy products from organized dairy clusters.
It is also a KDSG initiative that aims to facilitate and promote the transition from the current open grazing or nomadic culture or the practice of herders traveling thousands of kilometers in search of pasture to stable farm settlements or closed and controlled grazing practices. . It aims to prevent deadly clashes between herdsmen and farmers by slowly settling the herdsmen in closed and controlled grazing areas. In addition, the project will provide a high security farm housing and therefore eliminate or significantly reduce cattle rustling.
How will farmers be selected for this project?
Project beneficiaries will be selected from 10 contact locations based on the selection ratio, given the location of the project. These places are Anchau, Ikara, Makarfi, Hunkuyi, Soba, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Lere, Kauru and Ruwan Sanyi, the location of the project. We spent the project’s inception informing a range of stakeholders to discuss its objectives, project model and target beneficiaries. We have also been consistent in disseminating information about eligibility criteria and selection process of beneficiaries by playing jingles on radio and using digital platforms as well as print media.
In October last year, we concluded the beneficiary interview and capture exercise using a dedicated field data collection tool for transparency purposes. Applicants are well sensitized and briefed about the exercise at appropriate contact points. All applicants have provided proof of identity and have been asked to answer mainly questions on the form and final selections will be made based on their answers. Mainly, the questions revolved around willingness to move to the project area, willingness to join a new cooperative, willingness to breed improved breeds and pay for veterinary services. Phone number, relatives, desired age range, etc. completeness of basic personal data such as
Considering that only 1000 people will be selected for the project, we received more than 2000 applications, about 15% of which are women. In Kaduna State, we operate a very comprehensive management system that is evident in every aspect of our operations. According to the Framework for Responsible Inclusive Land-Intensive Agriculture (FRILIA), developed by the World Bank and KDSG, it highlights the opportunities for women and vulnerable groups to benefit directly from all investments that require large areas of land, with beneficiary projections of 20% female participation. We have now finalized the selection of project beneficiaries and obtained the participation of 187 (19%) women. The list has been shared with relevant stakeholders.
We are currently coordinating beneficiaries and establishing the Damau Cooperative to serve as a model framework in Nigeria. It will help the beneficiaries plan to procure and manage fodder, medicines, vaccines as well as other services including financial instruments for their members. The organization will also ensure continuous supply of milk to project participants.
Arla is also building a model farm on a 400-hectare area at the border of the settlement. The main objective is for the farm to serve as a comprehensive tool for teaching farmers agricultural technologies related to milk production. It is a smart investment that will accelerate adoption of modern farming techniques in and around the project area, create additional jobs and attract additional investment. The farm will consist of various temperature-controlled housing units for cows, heifers and calves, housing for farm workers, feed plants, feed storage, irrigation systems, milking parlors and other farm ancillary facilities. The farm will also have a production capacity of 400 dairy cows with a minimum milk yield of 50 liters per day per cow. They have invested $14 million in the farm so far and plan to invest an additional $25 million in processing plant and milk collection centers as the project progresses.
Apart from providing land for the Damau Household Family Milk project, what is Kaduna state’s contribution to the whole project?
The Kaduna State Government has received a loan from the CBN through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme for the construction of farmhouses, farm infrastructure and common facilities. In summary, KMDMC is responsible for the financing, acquisition, construction and development of farm and other facilities; the company will own all the project assets until the debt is paid off and ownership is transferred to the farmers in a cooperative model. He will also hold the land. Farmers will sign a participation agreement with Kaduna to agree the terms of the project.
On the other hand, Arla will manage and operate the common area facilities through an operating service agreement. It will provide services such as pre-processing and quarantine of new cattle, irrigation and fodder production, artificial insemination and cross-breeding. Arla Foods will also invest in milk collection and sign an exclusive three-way milk purchase agreement with the Farmer Coop and each participating farmer. The farmer cooperative will enter into a service contract with the Dairy Operator to provide feed supply services. Farmer Coop will make deductions from the milk bill to pay for these services.
DAMAU DAIRY PHARMACY Facts
-The Damau Household Dairy Project aims to develop a farm settlement that will accommodate up to 1000 herdsmen who will be engaged in dairy farming;
– The project will be in three districts with approximately 1,800 hectares each, each district will be divided into eight to nine clusters consisting of 40 farmers (each cluster is 200 hectares);
-Each district is expected to have approximately 320-360 farms and 600 hectares of irrigated land for fodder production during drought;
-Each farmer and his family should have the right to about five hectares of arable land, including a farm house, cattle shed and calf shed;
– Each farm will start with three crossbred cows for milk production and rearing, and each farm’s plot of land will have the capacity to feed eight such cows, including breeding stock;
-The farm will also have facilities like electricity supply and drinking water, skill acquisition centres, primary health centres, school blocks, veterinary clinics, market blocks and stalls, toilet blocks and guard posts along with electricity supply and drinking water.
–Damau Household Dairy aims to address the multifaceted problems associated with nomadic pastoralism, particularly cattle rustling, animal husbandry, and farmer/herdsmen conflicts;
– The farm will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs by improving the economic situation of the local population within the area.