Nigerian Breweries Plc – Nigeria’s leading brewing company, Psaltry International Company Ltd, a Nigerian cassava processing company and, the International Fertilizer Development Centre, IFDC, through its Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship project (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 a collaboration between the Parties to improve output of smallholder farmers and consequently support economic development as well as promote inclusive growth in Africa. The partnership will enhance farmer productivity and increase supply of high-quality cassava roots to Psaltry who will, in turn, provide industrial quality cassava starch for Nigerian Breweries to extract maltose syrup for use in the brewing process.
This Partnership Agreement succeeds the Memorandum of Understanding 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% of its raw materials in Africa locally by 2020.
Nicolaas Vervelde, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries’ said “as 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 SME’s and utilizing it in our operations. Through our partnership with Psaltry and IFDC, we are taking a big step towards further realizing this ambition with cassava.”
From June to December 2014, 2SCALE and Psaltry sensitized, mobilized and trained over 500 direct farmers who supplied more than 20,000 tons of cassava roots to Psaltry’s processing factory. Over 2000 direct farmers are expected to benefit from the project within the next three years. The project has also worked to ensure that marginalized groups of women and youths are targeted to ensure equity amongst project beneficiaries.
Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, Managing Director/CEO Psaltry said she is excited about the partnership because it would fast track the growth of her young company. “It is a huge opportunity for Psaltry to buy more raw materials from the local farmers which would ultimately transform them into commercial farmers. The partnership is also a big boost in our effort to improve the quality of life of our host community.”
According to the 2SCALE National Cluster Advisor, Mr. Thompson Ogunsanmi, “The partnership with Psaltry and Nigerian Breweries is an opportunity to take cassava farmers in Nigeria to another level based on 2SCALE’s model of inclusive growth. It is a sustainable model that enables smallholder farmers to benefit from agriculture as a profitable business.”