Nestle, one of the world’s leading conglomerate in the food and beverage sector, has partnered with IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative to support small holder farmers and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in West and Central Africa to ramp up production of agricultural commodities used as raw materials.
The three-year partnership seeks to support 25,000 small holder farmers and 50 SMEs in the agricultural value chain particularly in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria where most of Nestle’s raw materials are being sourced.
Also, the collaborative effort will enable the company meet its projection of boosting supplies of some key commodities such as maize, soy bean, coffee and cocoa sourced locally from its current 60 percent to more than 70 percent by 2022.
“In line with Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value approach, our new partnership with IDH will increase the capacity of farmers to produce high quality crops that will enhance local supply and help develop local economies, this is all part of our commitment to improving 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities,” said Rémy Ejel, chief executive officer, Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd.
According to a statement made available to business a.m., the partnership is aimed at providing technical assistance and transfer of knowledge to small holder farmers in tackling the various challenges facing agriculture in the region such as low productivity, poor quality and high post-harvest losses, inadequate infrastructure and solving the scourge of unemployment among the youths as well as improving farmer’s livelihood.
“This partnership pairs IDH’s technical expertise in agriculture value chain development and innovative financing through the EUR 500 million with commitments from Nestlé’s supply chain. It will help to transform farmers and SMEs into long-term, sustainable operators and have a massive impact on building up the African economy, creating jobs and increasing food security,” said Joost Oorthuizen, executive director, IDH.
IDH, a Dutch owned firm has been in the forefront of promoting homegrown agricultural produce via its Grown Sustainably in Africa (GSA) initiative supporting companies like Nestle to increase sourcing of raw materials in the continent and helping farmers connect with local and international markets.