World Food Day: Helping Boost Food Security and Rural Development in Central and West Africa

In Central and West Africa, Nestlé is helping to boost food security by building strong agricultural value chains and supporting farmers to enhance their livelihoods. Through our purpose of “enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”, one of our ambition is to develop thriving, resilient communities by improving the lives of 30 million people living in communities directly connected to our business activities by 2030.

Food Security and rural development are central to fulfilling our ambition. This is why we highlight the relevance of this year’s World Food Day on October 16, which focuses on ‘changing the future of migration by investing in food security and rural development’.

We concur with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that rural development can lead to food security, more resilient livlihoods, better access to social protection, reduced conflict over natural resources and solutions to environmental degradation and climate change.

As we source more than 70% of raw materials in Central and West Africa, farmers are critical to the sustainability of our business. By understanding and managing where and how our ingredients are produced and the issues farmers and communities face, we can help develop thriving communities and support better livlihoods for those with whom we live and work

Investing in cereals

To reduce the high levels of mycotoxins and thus ensure the quality and safety of grains like maize, millet and sorghum, used in our cereal products such as Golden Morn and Cerelac, we are thousands of farmers through the Nestlé Grains Quality Improvement Project. First launched in Ghana and Nigeria in 2007 with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the project helps farmers increasing their yields and contributes to the overall health of rural communities through the consumption of good quality and safe grains. More recently, we have furthered our efforts under the Nestlé Cereal Plan, in partnership with the USAID, to train farmers on good agronomical practices

Improving the livlihoods of coffee farmers

At farm level, we are committed to enhancing rural livelihoods by continuously improving our green coffee supply chain through the Nescafé Plan, which is still currently active in 11 countries worldwide, including Côte d’Ivoire.

We are working with international non-governmental organisation, the Rainforest Alliance, and local organisations in Côte d’Ivoire, including the National Coffee and Cocoa Board and the National Agricultural Research Centre, to boost the sustainability of coffee farming.

Ivorian coffee farmer Francois Dadi Serikpa from Gnamagnoa is just one of more than 147,000 farmers across the globe taking part in initiative. The 65-year-old took up growing coffee when he retired as a bus controller over 25 years ago.

When the Nescafé Plan was introduced in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010, he attended training sessions with other local farmers led by Nestlé agronomists. They also visited his farm and taught him how to grow coffee more sustainably, based on Nescafé’s best farming practices.

The father of 12 and grandfather of 21 has now improved his coffee crops and increased his income to help support his family.

Empowering cocoa farmers

Cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are also being empowered as part of our commitment to roll out the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, in partnership with the Fair Labor Association and International Cocoa Initiative.

Under the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, we help farmers increase profitability, secure high quality cocoa, and address supply chain issues such as child labour, gender inequality and poor social conditions.

Read more about our ambition to developing thriving, resilient communities in the Nestlé in society global report 2016 (English PDF).

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