By Peter Egwuatu
CHI Limited has keyed into the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s backward integration policy by partnering with the Niger State to invest in massive infrastructural development, upgrade of the existing and construction of new facilities at the Bobi Grazing Reserve, a pilot grazing reserve in Maringa Local Government, Niger State, and North-Central Nigeria.
It will be recalled that in July 2019, the CBN rolled out a new policy to encourage backward integration for the local production of select items including dairy products to save depleting national reserves, revive local production capacity and create employment. The new policy offers challenges and opportunities for major manufacturers of milk and dairy products in Nigeria.
Despite the challenges of dairy backward integration policy like the incessant herders/farmers clashes, the opportunities in the value chain are numerous. One company that has keyed into the initiative is dairy giant, CHI Limited.
In a statement made available to Vanguard by Chi Limited, it stated ; “ With the acquisition of over 4,000 hectares in the reserve, the Company is partnering with existing pastoralists to provide 2,000 hectares to allow for settlement and grazing for their cows. It has made available 1,200 hectares to subsistence farmers for grain production and another 300 hectares for growing some of the best breed of pasture – Napier grass, an essential fodder known to improve milk yield in cows.”
The statement noted that the final stretch of 800 hectares has been set aside for development of support facilities, specifically a milk collection and processing center where all the milk produced from the cows will be collected and processed in a hygienic manner.
Speaking on the recent developments, Managing Director of CHI Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, thanked the Central Bank for the laudable initiative and the Niger State Government for their support and co-operation thus far.
“We are proud of our strategic partnerships and investments in the backward integration project of the Central Bank of Nigeria. With the support of the Niger State Government, we would work towards ensuring that this pilot scheme achieves its medium and long-term objectives of job creation, strengthening the supply chain of the dairy category in which we play, provide good raw materials to support our local company, provide Nigerian consumers with more access to nourishing, healthy dairy products, and be the model for successful dairy backward integration” he said.