NBL works with cassava growers
NGOs also contribute to improve economics of small-scale farmers
Nigerian Breweries Ltd is partnering with a cassava processing company to improve the fortunes of smallhold farmers in the country.
NBL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Psaltry International Company Ltd to develop a Public-Private Partnership. The PPP forms part of the 2SCALE programme, a Dutch funded initiative aimed at improving rural livelihoods and food security in Africa.
Under the terms of the MoU, the partners will work together to support small-scale farmers in the production of more and better cassava through technical assistance, training and easier access to finance. The PPP will enable more smallholder farmers to participate in the market for processed cassava products and will allow NBL to increase the amount of locally grown cassava products in their local beers.
The PPP also support NBL parent company Heineken’s commitment to deliver 60% of its African raw material requirements via local sourcing by 2020.
NBL managing director Nico Vervelde commented, “Nigerian Breweries’ ambition is to support local economic development and promote inclusive growth by sourcing agricultural raw materials, like cassava, locally from entrepreneurial SMEs. Through our partnership with Psaltry, we are taking a big step towards further realising this ambition.”
Present at the signing was the Netherlands minister of foreign trade and development cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, as part of a trade mission for Dutch businessmen. “Heineken’s decision to take part in a programme like 2SCALE proves there are real opportunities in Africa for the Dutch private sector. I hope more companies will follow their example.”
While working with small-scale cassava farmers is a relatively new development, NBL has partnered with sorghum farmers for years. An economic impact study in 2008 found that NBL directly and indirectly created 637,000 jobs in Nigeria, of which 97,000 were accounted for in the Sorghum Value Chain development programme.
Nigerian Breweries Ltd is Nigeria’s largest brewing concern, and was its first, having commenced brewing operations in 1949. It operates eight breweries and two malthouses in the country. It is the market leader with an estimated 60% share of the alcoholic drinks market.
Heineken holds a 54.1% stake in the company. NBL is listed on the Nigerian stock exchange and its shares are widely held, with more than 120,000 shareholders.