Nestlé Nigeria PLC, in collaboration with International Fertilizer
Development Centre (IFDC) / 2Scale, is helping farmers improve their
livelihoods by empowering smallholder farmers on sustainable farming
practices under the initiative, Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale Project
Sorghum & Millet. The partnership aims to improve grain quality and
Addressing food quality at the farm level
Nestlé, together with its implementing partners, has made significant
impact in the past two years, training over 7905 sorghum and 1069 millet
farmers on good agricultural pre-harvest and post-harvest practices. 22% of
these farmers are women. The farmers testify to a significant increase in
income. This change is due to an increase in productivity, improved crop
quality and the availability of a ready market, which eliminates the
negative influence of middlemen.
Before Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale Project Sorghum & Millet’s
intervention, the yield per hectare was 0.9 tons.
In the first year of the project in 2015, the yield doubled to 1.3
tons/hct, and reached 1.8 tons/hct in 2017. The target is to reach 2.20
tons/hct in 2018 farming season, progressing towards the maximum yield
capacity of 2.35 tons/hct of the crop varieties.
Empowering farmers to manage their businesses
Another contributor to the increase in income is the improved negotiating
skills of farmers, an outcome of the business training and coaching they
have received. The coaching sessions have led to farmers becoming much more
confident about their position and the quality of their products. For women
producers, this has had an especially strong impact. One example of this
can be found in Mrs. Hanna Musa, one of the two women in the negotiations
team. Prior to the coaching, she had been too shy to speak up, but the
opportunity to participate in the negotiations on Nestlé’s terms of
delivery and payment, helped her grow into her leadership role.
Speaking on the drivers of the outcome of Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale
Project Sorghum & Millet, Mr. Maxwell Olitsa, Project Manager, IFDC
said, “We achieved the results in the field by empowering farmers to adopt
best practices and new technology. Showing in addition to telling also made
a lot of difference. 27 demo plots were established; six of them managed by
women, where best farming practices are demonstrated. The demo plots are
always accessible to the farming clusters to provide continuous technical
support and coaching in the field.”
To ensure crop integrity from farm to factory gate, the project also trains
aggregators, pesticide spray providers and input suppliers. This 360-degree
approach has significantly reduced post-harvest losses.
While helping to improve the livelihoods of farmers within the project,
Nestlé projects that the continued intervention with its partners will
result in sustainable supplies of high quality grains required for its
production sites. Emphasizing on the impact of the project on the
livelihoods of farmers and on the company, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon,
CEO/Managing Director, Nestlé Nigeria said, “Today, we source about 80% of
our agricultural raw material in the country. As we work towards increasing
this percentage, we remain committed to working alongside our partners to
further improve the quality and quantity of grains and legumes”.
“The results we have achieved so far with Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale
Project Sorghum & Millet is an example of what is possible when we look
at the agriculture value chain holistically from the farm to storage, to
transportation, and right down to the factory gate and take definite
measures to close the gaps,” he concluded.
Creating Shared Value
This partnership is consistent with Nestlé’s business approach of Creating
Shared Value for the company and for society. On one side, the project
ensures that the local supply of grains and legumes meet the company’s high
food safety and quality standards, while it helps increase the revenue of
farmers who have higher yields by applying good agricultural practices.
One of the ways the company works towards achieving its purpose which is,
“enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”, is by
helping to reduce crop contamination and post-harvest losses resulting from
poor farming practices including sun drying, poor storage and logistics.
This is important because crop contaminants, like mycotoxins, threaten the
health and lives of humans and animals.