A partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Project Nurture aims to help more than 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda double their fruit incomes. TechnoServe and its partners are working with farmers to identify new market opportunities, improve productivity and develop strong farmer business groups.
Despite agriculture’s central role in East African economies, many farmers do not earn a consistent and reliable income. Domestic fruit value chains in Kenya and Uganda are plagued by various inefficiencies such as weak producer organizations, poor market linkages and lack of access to inputs. This results in low production, sales volume and income for smallholder fruit producers, trapping families and communities in poverty.
The fruit sector can be a powerful engine for lifting smallholder farming families in East Africa out of poverty. Global demand for fresh and processed fruit has steadily increased, but most of the fruit in Kenya and Uganda is sold in local markets. Processors and export markets represent key opportunities for growth. Smallholder fruit farmers can become competitive suppliers in the market system by organizing into farmer business groups and gaining the skills and knowledge to increase the yield and quality of their crop. New market opportunities for their fruit can generate meaningful income for households and improve their quality of life.
Project Nurture was a $11.5 million partnership among The Coca-Cola Company, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TechnoServe that aimed to help more than 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda double their fruit incomes by 2014.
TechnoServe facilitated training in agronomy best practices to help smallholder fruit farmers improve their productivity. TechnoServe advisors also worked with farmers to improve business skills and form and strengthen farmer business groups, which allow farmers to access inputs and finance, sell their fruit collectively and improve their bargaining power. At the same time, TechnoServe worked with exporters and processors to improve market linkages, and with financial institutions to improve access to credit for smallholder farmers.
The project, which launched in early 2010 achieved significant results. At completion in 2015, TechnoServe recruited nearly 54,000 farmers in both Kenya and Uganda who were successfully organized into 1,100 producer business groups, who sold more than 132,000 tons of fruit. TechnoServe also trained more than 70 community extension service providers and 48,500 farmers in agronomic practices. The project increased producer incomes by an average of 142 percent.
Two processors were certified to meet Coca-Cola’s quality standards and approved as suppliers in the company’s supply chain. In Kenya, Minute Maid Mango Nectar became the first Coca-Cola product in the country to use locally sourced purée from a processor certified to Coca-Cola standards. In addition, TechnoServe mobilized 16 food processors to buy from project participants.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company with a portfolio of more than 500 brands and a global distribution rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. The Coca-Cola Company is committed to building sustainable communities, focusing on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities in which the company operates.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.