Vanessa Obioha | This Day
In a remarkable first, FrieslandCampina WAMCO announced the successful crossbreeding and birth of 25 Crossbreed Girolando calves achieved locally across various farms in Oyo, Ogun and Kwara states.
The Girolando calves are the first generation of a new high milk-producing breed in Nigeria, according to a statement made by the company’s Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Ore Famurewa.
Famurewa explained that the Girolando breed is a composite of ‘Milking Gir’ from Brazil and Holstein Friesian from the Netherlands and has produced tremendous results for many decades in Brazil, leading to its transformation into a world power in dairy production.
“In addition to having a high milk yield, the Girolando breed is heat-tolerant, tick-borne disease resistant and possesses other characteristics ideal for production in tropical countries like Nigeria,” Famurewa said.
The Girolando breed was selected for introduction to Nigeria by FrieslandCampina WAMCO and URUS Group LP (the largest cow genetics company in the world), one of its strategic partners of the Value4Dairy Consortium, an initiative launched in 2021 as part of its dairy development activities. The other partners are Barenbrug (a leading grass seed company) and Agrifirm (a leading feed and supplement company in the Netherlands).
In 2022, 1400 Girolando semen straws were produced and 610 artificial inseminations were achieved, and 25 Crossbreed Girolando calves have been birthed to date. FrieslandCampina WAMCO sees this key milestone achievement as an important step to give smallholder farmers access to affordable good yield dairy cows in Nigeria
FrieslandCampina and URUS GROUP LP subsequently signed an agreement with a local breeding farm-SMAP Farms Limited. The strategic partnership will maximize success in crossbreeding and increase milk yields on local farms sustainably.