As part of its drive to ensure the actualisation of the Federal Government’s effort to diversify the Nigerian economy through agriculture, Guinness Nigeria Plc. has launched its agricultural scheme.
Speaking on the initiative tagged “Grow with Nigeria”, Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria, Baker Magunda, said, the company was ready to give full support to the Federal Government’s policy on diversification and local content through agricultural development.
In his words “we are here today to further demonstrate our commitment to the Federal Government’s policy on diversification and local content, the growth of the agricultural value chain and that of smallholder farmers who form an integral part of our business.”
He stated that “Over the last twenty years, our business has consistently sourced its entire core ingredients such as sorghum and malt extract locally through the various local raw material chains. Currently, our local content sourcing is 75% and we plan to increase this significantly within the next couple of years.”
“These partnerships have enabled us to develop an ecosystem of private sector players creating value that impact smallholder farmers directly. In 2018, we partnered with 5, 121 smallholder farmers across eight states of Nigeria.
“These farmers were provided access to finance, certified seeds, unadulterated inputs, mechanization, training on good agronomic practice and basic bookkeeping, supplier credit process, extension support and access to market, “he said.
The Managing Director added that “With this intervention, Guinness Nigeria was able to leverage on the collaboration as provided by the respective partners in the ecosystem to improve the livelihoods of these farmers by moving them from subsistence level to full economic inclusion.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh commended Guinness Nigeria on the initiative.
According to him, “When Guinness began buying sorghum from local farmers many of us realized that this was a revolution that started ahead of its time.”
“The logic of buying raw materials from local Farmers has seen wealth being moved into the rural areas instead of out of the shores of Nigeria, because every time you import anything, you are importing poverty and exporting wealth and dangers not visible. I am very proud of Guinness Nigeria and I urge other manufacturers to do same.” Ogbeh said
With investments in Agriculture, local manufacturing and backward integration, the Guinness Nigeria Local Raw Materials (LRM) initiative, has benefited over 6,000 subsistence farmers, rural traders and various stakeholders in the production value chain.
The LRM initiative despite its current focus on rural subsistence farmers is helping to create value in local markets, strengthening state and national economies, improving agricultural systems, enhancing food security, and boosting supplies of sustainable raw materials that meet global standards.
Guinness Nigeria is in partnership with CBN, Stanbic IBTC, OCP Africa, AFEX Commodity and OXFAM in ensuring the success of the initiative.