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

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 focus to promote gender equality and help increase youth involve in agriculture.

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.

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 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.

“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 30 percent of the farmers we engage in the Nescafé Plan initiative,” said Ciru Miring’u, Managing Director of Nestlé East Africa.

She added that they are planning to spend about Sh40 million 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.

Wanting youth to take part in coffee could perhaps be a broader intention to help reduce the conflicts, which sometimes lead to deaths in the coffee cooperative sector.

The company 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.

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