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Agriculture: How Nestlé Nigeria is empowering Rural Women



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Nigerian women play important roles in food and agriculture. They produce the bulk of food for domestic consumption and they are the drivers of food processing, marketing and preservation. In spite of all these enormous tasks, many of them struggle to earn a living income.



According to the Food and Agricultural Organization report, rural women constitute 70 per cent of the agricultural workers, 60 to 70 per cent of the labour, 80 per cent of food storage and transportation from farm to village and 60 per cent of the harvesting and marketing. Despite all these activities, the report stated that majority of them are still poor.



As efforts to improve the livelihood of rural women, by upscaling their businesses, Nestlé Nigeria, launched “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project”.



The first phase of “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” which was launched in the suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory in August 2021 reached 50 beneficiaries while the second phase launched in Osogbo in October 2021 added 50 more women to the program.



The program was recently launched in Nsukka and Obolo-Afor, both in Enugu State to reach an additional 50 women retailers, bringing the number of beneficiaries to 150.




“Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” is one of Nestlé Nigeria’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) initiatives to contribute towards building thriving communities by improving livelihoods.


The Program is designed to equip female distributors at the end of the pyramid to scale up to three times the size of their existing business over three months and to sustain the new level, the company says.



According to Nestlé Nigeria, “The beneficiaries of “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” receive grants by way of Nestlé products valued at 300 per cent of their current monthly sales. They also participate in training and mentorship programs which equip them with the requisite skills to scale up and sustain their businesses.




“These programs are delivered by the implementation partner, FDConsults which also works with each retailer over three months post training to help them succeed. Each beneficiary retailer is linked to a one-on-one mentor for guidance and consistent support.”




Speaking on Nestlé’s contributions to empowering women within her value chain, Mr. Khaled Ramadan, Commercial Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, said, “At Nestlé, we believe that by contributing to the health and wellbeing of our communities, we create shared value for all stakeholders while contributing to the growth of our business.



“Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” is our way of improving the livelihoods of women in the rural areas by helping them scale their businesses to three times its current volume within three months. Our ambition is to empower 300 of these women who are retailers within our distribution channel.”





“We have received very positive feedback from the first 100 beneficiaries of the program who are based in the suburbs of Abuja and Osogbo, says Ramadan, adding that they are reporting faster turnover and increased revenue as well as stronger visibility of their business outlets within their locations.





“We are therefore confident that our intervention through training, mentorship and product grants are a right mix for success. By improving the household incomes of the rural women, Nestlé is helping to improve their access to adequate nutrition, good healthcare and good quality education for their families,” Ramadan adds.




Speaking on the outcome of the program so far, Mr. Phranklin Audu, Lead Trainer & Head of Partnerships at FDConsults, said, “It is a delight for me to see the progress already made by the beneficiaries of “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project.” The reports of increase in turnover and profit are very encouraging. Following the successful implementation of the first and second phases, I am happy that 50 more women are joining the program today.



“FDConsults is privileged to be a part of this success story and remains focused on helping each beneficiary attain her highest potential. I encourage each participant here today to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to grow
her business.”



Mrs. Peace Eze, a beneficiary from Obolo-Afor in Enugu State, said “I am very happy to have been selected to benefit from this program. I am going home with good news. With what we were taught today, I now have the knowledge to support my business to grow. With the help of the goods that Nestlé is also giving to us, I have everything I need to make my business succeed. I thank Nestlé for this important initiative, it will help all the women benefiting from the program a lot.”

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