Nestlé Nigeria Plc, in collaboration with International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), is helping farmers improve their livelihoods by empowering smallholder farmers on sustainable farming practices under the initiative, Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale Project Sorghum & Millet.
Nestlé in a press statement said the partnership aims to improve grain quality and productivity.
Nestlé, together with its implementing partners, has made significant impact in the past two years, training over 7,905 sorghum and 1,069 millet farmers on good agricultural pre-harvest and post-harvest practices. 22% of these farmers are women.
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 per hectare, and reached 1.8 tons per hectare in 2017.
Accordingly, the target is to reach 2.20 tons per hectare in 2018 farming season, progressing towards the maximum yield capacity of 2.35
tons per hectare of the crop varieties.
Speaking on the drivers of the outcome of Nestlé Nigeria & IFDC/2Scale Project Sorghum & Millet, Mr. Maxwell
Olitsa, Project Manager, IFDC said, “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. 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. This 360-degree approach has significantly reduced post-harvest losses.
Also emphasizing on the impact of the project on the livelihoods of farmers and on the company, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, CEO/Managing Director, Nestlé Nigeria said, “Today, we source about 80% of our agricultural raw material in the country. As we work towards increasing this percentage, we remain committed to working alongside our partners to further improve the quality and quantity of grains and legumes”.