By Moses Nosike

Nestlé, IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and TechnoServe recently announced the launch of Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project. The initiative will help 5,000 smallholder farmers earn better livelihoods by supplying high-quality maize, soybeans, millet and sorghum to Nestlé.

The seven-month project will enable more inclusive and transparent sourcing of maize, soybeans, millet, and sorghum for Nestlé’s operations in Nigeria.

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. 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.

The Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project will engage stakeholders across the supply chain to address these challenges. The project will work with six small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that aggregate crops and supply them to Nestlé factories.

Nestlé Nigeria Managing Director and CEO, Wassim Elhusseini said, “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”.

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.

Ayokanmi Ayuba, TechnoServe’s deputy country director and director of programs in Nigeria said, “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.”

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