NIGERIA – The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global shipping, highlighting the importance of local supply chains.

To this end Nestlé has partnered with, IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and TechnoServe to launch Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project, aimed to create a more inclusive and transparent sourcing of maize, soybeans, millet, and sorghum for its operations in Nigeria.

The project is expected to improve the incomes of 5,000 smallholder farmers and increase the sales of the six aggregator SMEs by at least 10%.

Incorporating smallholders into a value chain like Nestlé’s will not only benefit the farmers—who will see increased incomes from selling into stable and formal markets—but also the company, which will benefit from a steady supply of locally grown crops.

“At Nestlé, we are committed to building strong communities and supply chains, improving livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities. Therefore, we are delighted to work with IDH and TechnoServe to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and SMEs who work within our supply chain.

“This project will help 5,000 families apply more sustainable farming practices to improve their household income while protecting the environment for the generations to come,” Nestlé Nigeria Managing Director and CEO, Wassim Elhusseini said.

Over the last few years, Nestlé has worked with smallholder farmers and aggregators in Kaduna State, Nigeria to improve crop quality, significantly reducing rejection rates from over 30% to 4%.

Abnormal rainfall patterns caused by climate change make it difficult for farmers to properly dry their grain, and therefore it is difficult to build upon and maintain the crop quality.

“At Nestlé, we are committed to building strong communities and supply chains, improving livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities.”

Nestlé Nigeria Managing Director and CEO – Wassim Elhusseini

The Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project will engage stakeholders across the supply chain to address these challenges.

It will mainly work with six small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that aggregate crops and supply them to Nestlé factories.

To ensure maximum traceability, the food giant will guide the aggregators on good recordkeeping and use assay testing kits to track the quality of grains provided by individual farmers.

Also, the initiative will build the capacity of businesses all along the grain value chain, such as offering training to the aggregators and sub-aggregators on proper grain handling, storage, as well as entrepreneurial and financial skills.

The logistics partners will receive training on proper handling and storage of grain during transit.

While the farmers will be trained on good agricultural practices, post-harvest handling and have access to accurate weather forecasts to help them make better decisions about when to dry their grains.

Further to that, Nestle has noted that it will pilot new, low-cost technological innovations like solar dryers.

IDH Nigeria Country Director, Cyril Ugwu said, “We are excited at this opportunity of working with TechnoServe and Nestlé in our joint mission to contribute to the improvement of agribusiness entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

“The partnership is crucial as it not only contributes to improved local sourcing of commodities by a reputable brand as Nestlé, it also contributes to food security and the economic wellbeing of a teeming number of farmers in the region.”

IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative is an international organization that works with businesses, financiers, governments and civil society to realize sustainable trade in global value chains.

The Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project is part of IDH’s Value Chain Development (VCD) program, focusing on Africa and is aimed at creating economically viable, inclusive and resilient agricultural value chains.

“Building more inclusive supply chains is a win-win for farmers and the private sector. We are excited to work with Nestlé and IDH on this initiative to create lasting impact for smallholders, small businesses, and the sector as a whole,” said Ayokanmi Ayuba, TechnoServe’s deputy country director and director of programs in Nigeria.

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty.  

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