Nestlé moves to grow the number of women and youths in coffee

To Press Releases listOct 23, 2015

Nairobi, 12th October 2015: Nestlé has rolled out a training programme to encourage more women and youths to participate in coffee farming and to take up leadership roles in farmer’s cooperatives societies as part of its commitment to promote gender equality and also help increase youth involvement in agriculture.

This is the second phase of the Nestlé’s gender and youth training programme in Kenya and will run for the next three years. The main aim of the training is to reduce the gap between men and women representation in the cooperative management and enhance sustainability through bringing in new generation.

“In the initial phase of the training we had targeted to reach about 1000 women. We now have about 10, 000 female coffee farmers who represent about 30percent of the farmers we engage in the Nescafé Plan initiative,” said Ciru Miring’u, Managing Director of Nestlé East Africa.

Ms. Miring’u, further added, “The number of women taking up leadership roles in the Farmer’s Cooperative Societies has increased from 5percent in 2011 to 10percent in 2015.”

The training programme rolled out today is part of Nestlé’s global Nescafé Plan initiative which was renewed earlier this year to offer training and technical support to about 41,000 coffee farmers across Central and Eastern Kenya.

“We are planning to spend about Sh40million between 2015 and 2017 to help boost coffee production in the country and a significant amount of this money will be spent in the women and youth empowerment programme,” said Ms. Miring’u.

25percent of the coffee farmers engaged in the Nescafé Plan are aged between 18 to 35 years which represents a growing interest from youths in coffee.

“We have had the number of youths taking part in both farming and leadership positions in coffee rise by 5percent this year alone,” said Ms. Miring’u.

Nestlé Kenya held the first session of the training today in Embu where 35 women and youth from 11 Farmers Cooperative Society drawn from Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Embu and Meru Counties were trained on: good agricultural practices, governance, confidence building, financial literacy, food security, family nutrition and life skills which included a session on HIV/AIDs.

Coffee Management Services Limited, who is also the implementation partner for the Nestlé’s Nescafé Plan initiative will oversee the gender and youth training including monitoring their progress on the ground.

“The three year training is being conducted in partnership with other partners including ZOÉGAS, Equity Bank and County government,” said Mr. Kamau Kuria, Managing Director of Coffee Management Services Limited.

Nestlé’s Nescafé Plan is a global initiative to create value across the coffee supply chain, from farmers to consumers. The initiative aim is to build capacity and help to improve productivity, quality of coffee and help coffee farmers obtain higher incomes.

The Nescafé Plan is also part of Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) principle; it believes that for a business to prosper over the long term, the communities around it must also prosper. Nestlé creates shared value in three areas: nutrition, water and rural development.

Through the Nescafé Plan Nestlé not only provides coffee farmers with nurseries and training on good agricultural practices but also supplies them high yielding and disease resistant crop.

“The impact of the gender and youth training programme coupled with the fact that over 9,000 farmers have adopted the high yielding and disease resistant Batian variety will be a big boost to sustaining the increased coffee production,” said Mr Kamau.