Nestle Nigeria Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with International Fertilizer Development Centre, IFDC, to support the local farmers and facilitate government’s economic diversification agenda.
The partnership, a two-year pilot project, aims to help smallholder farmers, of whom 40% are women, in Sahel and Sudan Savanna areas of the country to develop farming as a business and improve the quality and yields of millet and sorghum, which are popular staple crop ingredients in West African nation. Under the arrangement, 1,000 framers in Northern Nigeria will be trained on good agricultural practices and entrepreneurial skills.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony in Lagos, the Managing Director/CEO, Nestle, Chief Dharnesh Gordon, said the partnership is in line with the company’s approach to business tagged Creating Shared Value, which is based on the firm believe that for a company to prosper over the long terms and create value for its shareholders, it must also create value for the society.
He noted that the partnership underpinned the company’s believe in Nigerian farmers and rural communities, saying: “To produce our foods and beverages, we rely on secure, long term supplies of raw materials of the highest quality. To this end, we, together with our partners, have been training farmers in the northern part of Nigeria to produce good quality grains since 2010. This has been part of our Grains Quality Improvement project, GQIP, implemented in collaboration with suppliers.
“Our new collaboration with IFDC, together with farmer groups and supplier partners, looks to support farmers in northern Nigeria by providing them with the tools and capabilities to produce high quality, disease-resistant crops for future food security,” Gordon said.
“We are looking forward to our new collaboration with Nestle Nigeria. The company is a fitting private partner because of its strength, professionalism, and high standards that it instills to produce quality products for local consumers, and also because of the close and fair relations it wants to build and maintain with smallholder farmers,” said Dr. Amo Maatman, Chief of Party of IFDC.