TechnoServe’s Work With Fruit Farmers in East Africa Highlighted in the Financial Times

April 25, 2012

In a special report on sustainable business, the Financial Times examines how major corporations are increasingly working to source products from smallholder farmers in developing countries. The report cites Project Nurture, a partnership with TechnoServe, The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to double the fruit incomes of more than 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda.


A TechnoServe business advisor for Project Nurture works with a farmer in western Kenya. 

In a special report on sustainable business, the Financial Times examines how major corporations are increasingly working to source products from smallholder farmers in developing countries. The report cites Project Nurture, a partnership with TechnoServe, The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to double the fruit incomes of more than 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda:

The Coca-Cola Company wanted to sell juice processed from local passion fruit and mangoes in east Africa. But in order to obtain the necessary fruit from 50,000 small farmers the company, its local bottler Coca-Cola Sabco, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had to invest $11.5m in supplier development.

The resulting Project Nurture was undertaken by TechnoServe, a Washington-based non-profit group that provided the knowledge and skills to develop the fruit supply.

Simon Winter, a senior vice-president at TechnoServe, says the group provided experts in agronomy and extension work, who helped farmers in grafting and pest control.

It also helped organise farmers into groups, develop a complementary premium market in fresh fruit, and teach business and financial skills. It also helped processors, who invested in equipment to raise quality to Coca-Cola standards.

Read the rest of the FT story (free registration required). And learn more about Project Nurture.

 

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