By Peter Egwuatu
Nigerian Breweries, NB Plc, Psaltry International Company Ltd, and the International Fertilizer Development Centre, IFDC, through its Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness and Learning in Entrepreneurship , 2SCALE have signed a Partnership agreement to optimize the cassava value chain in Nigeria and improve agribusiness for Nigerian smallholder farmers.
The Partnership Agreement is collaboration between the parties to improve outputs of smallholder farmers and consequently support economic development as well as promote inclusive growth in Africa. The partnership will enhance farmers’ productivity and increase supply of high-quality cassava roots to Psaltry ,which will, in turn, provide industrial quality cassava starch for Nigerian Breweries to extract maltose syrup for use in the brewing process.
According to information made available to Vanguard, the partnership agreement succeeds the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by the partners in June 2014 which formed part of the 2SCALE programme, a Dutch-funded initiative aimed at improving rural livelihoods and food security in Africa.
The partners agreed to support small-scale farmers in the production of more and better cassava through technical assistance, training and easier access to finance. This will enable more smallholder farmers to participate in the market for processed cassava byproducts required for large industrial purposes.
The partnership also enhances Nigerian Breweries socio-economic contribution via the agricultural sector and supports the progress the company is making, towards the achievement of HEINEKEN’s ambition to source 60 per cent of its agricultural raw materials in Africa locally by 2020.
Nicolaas Vervelde, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries said “ This is an operating company of HEINEKEN we have a long standing commitment to support local economic development and promote inclusive growth by sourcing agricultural raw materials from entrepreneurial local Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SME’s and utilizing it in our operations.