Nestlé SA has announced the renewal of the Nescafé Plan initiative for another 3 years following the success of the initial phase.
Following the renewal of the initiative, Nestlé will from 2015 to year 2017 fund the process of training and building capacity of 37,000 farmers across Central and Eastern Kenya.
The world leading nutrition, health and wellness company through the Nescafé Plan implementation partner Coffee Management Services (CMS) Limited is now expected to recruit an additional 11,000 coffee farmers and 4 coffee farmers’ cooperative societies to be part of the programme.
Nescafé Plan aims to build capacity by offering training and technical support to farmers. It hopes this will help to improve productivity, quality, and higher incomes for farmers.
The first phase of the plan that was launched in 2011 has been very successful with Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Societies from Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Embu and Meru counties recording between 70 to 400 percent increase in coffee production in the three year period to 2014.
“The first phase of the project was remarkably successful impacting on over 26,000 farmers who were trained on good agricultural practices. Over 9,000 farmers also adopted high yielding and disease resistant Batian variety which is expected to further increase their coffee production by 2016,” said Kamau Kuria, Managing Director Coffee Management Services (CMS) Ltd.
The Nescafé Plan is Nestlé’s global initiative to create shared value within the coffee supply chain and includes measures such as increasing direct procurement from farmers, offering them free technical assistance and training in agricultural best practices, and providing high-yield coffee seedlings at subsidised rates.
The initiative also aims at encouraging more female coffee growers and youths to take up leadership roles in cooperatives.
“The initial phase has also succeeded in promoting the inclusion of women and youth in coffee farming and cooperatives administration. About 3,300 women were reached and trained on cooperative leadership, coffee production, confidence building, self-development and coffee verification,” said Nestlé’s Coffee Sustainable Manager and charge of the Global Nescafé Plan, Linda Butler.
According to Linda, renewal of the Nescafé Plan in Kenya also means that more women and youths will be empowered to take up roles in coffee and allow them to receive extended agronomist support.
Nestlé spent over Sh30million (US$330,000) in implementing the first phase of the Nescafé Plan in Kenya from 2011 to 2014.
During this period there was noted increase in the quantity of coffee produced from 2.5Kgs per tree to between 7and 10Kgs per tree on average.
“We have improved the living standards of over 26,000 farmers, established about 30 demo plots in 9 cooperative societies where training are conducted and also recruited over 750 promoter farmers among other achievements,” explained Linda.