Fresh milk a hard sell in Nigeria

The Zimbabwean farmers who relocated to Nigeria are finding it difficult to sell their fresh milk products due to a preference for powdered milk in the country.

According to the Daily Trust newspaper, Paul Retuaff, head of Pine Leigh Farms, a dairy farm in the Shonga region of Kwara State, said that the prolonged use of powdered milk in Nigeria is holding back the take-off of a significant market for fresh milk.

He added that consumers’ lack of storage facilities for fresh milk is another problem affecting his business.

The newspaper quoted Retuaff saying that “milk can easily get bad if it is not refrigerated and the power supply is not stable to most people so this is also another problem for us because people do not know how to preserve it and when it gets bad, they may not want to buy it again and would prefer to get recombined (powdered) milk”.

In 2004 a group of Zimbabwean farmers, who lost their farms as part of Zimbabwe’s land reforms, were invited by the Kwara State Government to relocate to Nigeria and start with commercial agriculture in the state. Based near the town of Shonga, the group focuses on crop cultivation, dairy and poultry.