Nestlé Nigeria has restated its commitment to boosting the agricultural value chain.
Speaking to journalists at the Investors Forum in Ogun state recently, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon highlighted the pivotal role that Ogun State, host to two of the company’s three factories in Nigeria, plays in its business.
He said that Nestlé continues to contribute to the development of the country through job creation, capacity building and community development.
Furthermore, he stated that in addition to these contributions to the state, the company continues to seek opportunities to increase local sourcing of raw materials from the state.
“Our collaboration with Ogun State does not end with job creation and community development. Nestlé has been working with the state through the Honourable Commissioner of Agriculture, Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo to explore opportunities for increasing local sourcing of agricultural raw materials including cassava, from the state,” he said.
Nestlé Nigeria was a sponsor of the 4th edition of Ogun State Investors’ Forum, which focused on consolidating the gains of the present administration and accelerating growth. The event brought together the government, leaders of industry and other stakeholders to discuss growth opportunities.
In his opening speech, the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun explained that his government has laid a solid foundation for socio-economic development through exploration of various value chains including Agriculture, Industry and Technology. Amosun reiterated his government’s resolve to encourage backward integration and agricultural import substitution.
Speaking on the Feed Nigeria, Feed Africa: Completing the Value Chain panel, Alarcon highlighted areas of potential collaboration between government and the industry to accelerate development of the agriculture value chain.
“There are thousands of farmers in Nigeria, 360,000 in Ogun State alone, with relatively low output while the industry has a huge need. To achieve real success with connecting farmers to industry, the aggregators, processors, and logistics must also be considered within this value chain,” he said.
Alarcon emphasised that grouping smallholder farmers into co-operatives or via Aggregators makes it easier to work with farmers. Aggregation, he said, would facilitate the farming process from distribution of high quality seeds, to training farmers on good farming practices and post-harvest handling to improve crop quality and reduce losses.