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NB Plc, IFDC, Psaltry seal pact to boost cassava processing


TO improve output of smallholder farmers in the country, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Psaltry International Company Ltd, 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 such end.

   The pact would see the stakeholders optimizing the cassava value chain in Nigeria and improve agribusiness for Nigerian smallholder farmers.

 According to a statement, the partnership will enhance farmers’ 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 agricultural raw materials in Africa locally by 2020”, the statement read in part.

   Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Nicolaas Vervelde 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 created awareness, mobilized and trained over 500 direct farmers who supplied more than 20,000 tons of cassava roots to Psaltry’s processing factory. 

   Over 2,000 direct farmers are expected to benefit from the project within the next three years. 

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