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IFDC partner with Heineken to improve Nigerian cassava yields

Nigerian Breweries Plc, Nigeria’s largest brewing company and a subsidiary of Heineken, has signed a partnership agreement with Nigerian cassava processing company Psaltry International, and the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC)

The agreement, which succeeds the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the partners in June 2014, aims to optimize the Nigerian cassava value chain and support economic development by improving the productivity of more than 2,000 smallholder farmers over the next three years.

If the farmers’ yields can be increased, then so will the supply of cassava roots to Psaltry who, in turn, will be able to provide more industrial quality starch to Nigerian Breweries to extract maltose syrup for use in the brewing process.

The initiative forms part of the IDFC’s Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) project, a Dutch-funded scheme to improve the livelihoods of small-scale African farmers through technical assistance, training and access to finance.

Heineken has committed to locally source 60 per cent of its agricultural raw materials in Africa by 2020, and managing director of Nigerian Breweries Nicolaas Vervelde,  said, “Through our partnership with Psaltry and IFDC, we are taking a big step toward further realizing this ambition.”

From June to December 2014, 2SCALE and Psaltry mobilized and trained over 500 farmers who supplied more than 20,000 tonnes of cassava roots to Psaltry’s factory.