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7 Jun 2023 - Assentoft, Denmark

VikingGenetics becomes exclusive genetics partner for Arla Foods in Nigeria

VikingGenetics and VikingLivestock are proud to announce an agreement with Arla Foods to be exclusive genetics and livestock partners for their new farm in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

The agreement included the delivery of 216 Danish VikingHolstein heifers imported into Nigeria by VikingLivestock on May 9th. The heifers, which will be inseminated with 100% sexed semen from VikingGenetics bulls, are housed at a brand-new facility focused on animal welfare and house up to 750 dairy cows.

The farm, which opened on May 26th and is Arla’s first outside Europe, will help meet the country’s growing demand for dairy commodities. Additionally, the partnership aims to support local dairy development in Nigeria by serving as a training facility for local producers.

By sharing knowledge from European farmers about milk quality, herd management, animal welfare, and cattle breeding, Arla hopes to support the development of local dairy farming in Nigeria.

“The population in Nigeria is growing rapidly and is set to almost double in the next 30 years. This puts enormous pressure on food systems to deliver affordable nutrition, and if we look at dairy, there is a need for continued import but very much also an upscaling of local production with more efficient dairy farming. With this project, we share our knowledge, create an economically viable off-take market for local milk and show a way for the future of Nigerian dairy farming,” says Arla Farm Manager Snorri Sigurdsson.

Arla Farm Nigeria Kaduna State Holstein

Growing demand for dairy

Nigeria has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world, putting pressure on food producers' ability to meet demand. Despite also having Africa's largest cattle population, local dairy production only covers approximately 40% of the current demand for milk and milk products, with the rest covered by imports.

"VikingGenetics is honoured to support Nigeria's agricultural growth and is eager to participate in this long-term partnership. We are delighted to bring our robust and healthy Nordic dairy cattle genetics to Nigeria," says Louise Helmer, CEO of VikingGenetics.

"With a daily production of 30 to 40 litres of milk, VikingGenetics' breeds can benefit areas where farmers experience average yields of 1-2 litres daily. This will greatly help farmers and their communities, increasing yields, boosting income, and enhancing access to nutritious food," adds Louise Helmer.

Arla Farm Nigeria Kaduna State VikingHolstein

A complete, ready-made solution

The cooperation between VikingLivestock and VikingGenetics in delivering livestock, semen, and expert advice, ensures that Arla and the Nigerian farmers receive a complete, ready-made solution. This provides the farm with high-quality genetics and animals with high milk yields that will support dairy production in Nigeria for years to come.

“Our full package isn’t just the heifers and the semen but also includes the import and export, preparing and handling permissions and certificates, transport, the mating plan, hoof care expertise, fertility specialists, and more. This way, the staff at Arla’s farm can fully focus on settling the heifers in their new environment,” explains VikingLivestock CEO Lars Kloster.

“For us, the main reason was to speed up the process to get high-yielding, productive animals into Nigeria. There are millions of cows in Nigeria, but the breed is small, and the productivity is low so it was clear from the beginning that crossbreeding would take a long time if we wanted to reach highly productive animals,” adds Snorri Sigurdsson.

Arla Farm Nigeria Kaduna State VikingHolstein

Collaborating to unlock potential

To maximise genetic progress and the benefit it will bring to Nigerian dairy producers, Arla will be using 100% X-Vik sexed semen from VikingGenetics bulls in the herd. By exclusively using sexed semen, the outcome will be even more VikingHolstein heifer calves to expand the herd. In the near future, heifers could also be sold to other farmers in Nigeria for them to further benefit local production.

“Arla aims to increase the cows’ milk yield, and introducing Nordic cattle genetics into the Nigerian market can unlock much of the untapped potential in the country’s dairy industry,” says Seppo Niskanen, Export Manager for VikingGenetics. “Together, Arla, VikingGenetics, and Livestock Genetics of Africa have selected the right bulls to achieve this,” he adds.

VikingHolstein bulls breed for naturally healthy, high-producing dairy cows that are feed-efficient, resilient, and long-lasting – very important traits for the cows to thrive in Nigeria.

“The breeding plan for the Arla farm is made by VikingGenetics with emphasis on using sexed semen from bulls with a high index for milk volume with a good ratio of fat and protein, fertility & health, even & moderate size of the animals, feed efficiency, easy calving, and calf survival. These traits are all very important for the future herd at the Arla farm,” ends Snorri Sigurdsson.

In the picture: Arla Farm Manager, Snorri Sigurdsson

Arla Farm Nigeria Kaduna State VikingHolstein

For further information

For further information:


Louise Helmer, CEO

Mobile: +45 2053 2905



Lars Kloster, CEO

Mobile: +45 4080 7220 


Arla Foods

Jonas Barfoed, Global Press Officer

Mobile: +45 9131 1260 


For any additional requests, please contact:

Tomás De La Rosa, Content Writer at



Photos can be downloaded from:


Arla Farm Nigeria Kaduna State Holstein Cows