As part of efforts targeted at improving the livelihoods of Nigerian farmers, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, says it has collaborated with International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) / 2Scale, to help Nigerian farmers improve their yields.
In a Press release made available to AgroNigeria, the initiative, tagged “Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale Project Sorghum & Millet”, is aimed at improving grain quality and productivity.
“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”. it said.
“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.” it added
Speaking on the outcome of the initiative, Project Manager, International Fertiliser Development Center ( IFDC), Maxwell Olitsa said Nestle had recorded massive positive results through teaching and ensuring farmers adherence to best farming practices.
“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.” He said
“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. ” He added
Corroborating the impact of the project on the livelihoods of farmers and on the company, CEO/Managing
Director, Nestlé Nigeria, Mauricio Alarcon, said the company was committed to improving the quality and quantity of grains and legumes in Nigeria.
The CEO who noted that Nestle sources about 80% of its agricultural raw material in the country, said that the company was working towards increasing this percentage, stressing that Nestle remained committed to working alongside its partners to further improve the quality and quantity of grains and legumes in the country.
“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 added.