The Tadu Dairy factory that went operational months back was officially inaugurated recently by the Minister of Livestock H E Aboubakar Sarki. Speaking during the launching, the manager of the project Madam Shang Patu Jume recounted that the Tadu Dairy Cooperative Society project started on the 15th of November 1990, in collaboration with Lands O’lakes Inc. in the United States of America and cattle Breeders of the Banso Highlands of Cameroon, to function as a multi-purpose Co-operative that would provide its members with access to new breeds, improved production practices and modern value-adding technologies.
In the early mid nineties, the Tadu Cooperative worked in close partnership with Land O’lakes and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a quality/quantity milk production, collection, processing and marketing programme. She said the preliminary fruit of the teamwork include the thriving training of TDS members at O’lakes Inc. in artificial insemination techniques and consequently, the launching of a robust TDCS Cattle cross-breeding programme.
The programme is said to have spread to some parts of the Bamenda highlands, Adamawa plateau and into the Mambila highlands of Nigeria. Tadu Dairy Women’s Group members also reaped from the O’lakes Inc. connections in proper milk procurement, storage and quality control practices.
“Today as you can see, it is thanks to the smallholder Dairy Development Project, that the Tadu Dairy Women’s group which function as an affiliate group of the Tadu Dairy Co-operative Society has evolved impressively, demonstrating the usefulness of their training's,” she said with satisfaction.
She said smallholders Dairy Development Project (SDDP) has facilitated the assembling of critical pieces of dairy development equipment and infrastructure such as range management appliances, water supply networks, electrical power supply lines, adequate cattle crossbreeding stations as well as adapted milk collection and transformation facilities, to name a few.
The success story, she went on, was made: “Possible by the tenacity of Tadu Cooperative members who have clearly understood the power of team work, insurmountable financial support of the HIPC programme through the smallholder Dairy Development Project and the resounding endorsement of the Ministry of Livestock, fisheries and Animal Industries”
“We are therefore greatly honoured by your presence here today, Your Excellency, to commission our dairy processing unit, and pray the Almighty to give you the fortitude to carry on your noble mission,” she concluded.
Also in attendance was the 3rd Deputy Mayor of Kumbo Council Jaff Njibring Shinuy who hailed the efforts made by women to reduce Rural poverty and give more meaning to womanhood. He said the project was first of its kind in the history of Kumbo Municipality: “We have never received the Minister of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Industries. If we are doing so today, it is a sign of good things coming our way; the year 2010 will be good. I want to use this opportunity to thank. Mr. Shang Lawrence an illustrious son of Bui Division and his team for bringing the Hon. Minister to us to see our efforts and problems in order to seek possible solutions”.
He said the inauguration of Tadu Dairy Cooperative Processing Unit, was a testimony of the economic metamorphoses of women into assets, a thing to celebrate. “We started getting echoes of yoghurt and other dairy products to be produced at Tadu a long time ago, and today the dream has come true, thanks to the relentless efforts of those concerned with the project.”
He said Bui Division is one of the leading areas in Cameroon in livestock production after Vina in Adamawa region and Donga Mantung Division. He then called on the population of Kumbo, the Fulanis in particular, to cooperate with the authorities of the Tadu Dairy Cooperative to sustain the processing unit.
Jaff Njibring intimated that Bui Administration has been very committed to settling of farmers/grazers problems as both grazers and farmers are two groups of people condemned to live together. He hailed the government for the economic assistance given to Bui Division.
“More than 80% of the population of Kumbo are farmers but today we are very proud to be inaugurating a processing industry and I believe it is the only well structured industry in the region”.
He also thanked the population of Tadu for embracing this project and, “I am calling on all and sundry to rally to support and give the co-operative the necessary co-operation needed for its growth”.
In reaction the Minister, Dr. Aboubaka Sarki, promised to, within the framework of the Smallholder Dairy Development Project, government’s continuous support to TDCS. He expressed appreciation to the farmers for transforming the twenty years dream into an immeasurable poverty alleviation program, adding that the success story of TDCS will go a long way to reduce the importation of milk products.
To Dr. Aboubaka Sarki, the processing has come to remedy the domestic demand of milk products by the population thus, improving on the health of people. He said for the processing unit to be sustainable, the government will continue to support the various components to dairy farming.
He disclosed that over 150 million FCFA was allocated for artificial insemination, over 130 million FCFA to develop water facilities, pasture improvement and the purchasing of equipment. For the collection of milk products and marketing, development strategies as well as developing commercialisation avenues, Dr. Aboubaka disclosed that over 177 million FCFA was spent.
Considering the fact that the sustainability of any vast poverty alleviation programme depends on the aptitude of its administration and various components, he added that over 96 million FCFA was spent for that purpose to empower grazers and members of TDCS while TDCS also constructed two classrooms at National Veterinary School Jakiri. In all, a total sum of 620 million was allocated to TDCS and more is expected to be spent in 2010 to set up storage facilities, construct ticks fishing points and empower grazers on artificial insemination.
Before handing a multi-purpose tractor to TDCS, he exhorted that facilities offered them by the government should be used as a weapon against poverty. He then concluded by appealing to stake-holders to put in more efforts contribute positively to the economic growth of the country as prescribed by the Head of State President Paul Biya.
By Chifu Edward