Creating jobs and improving food security in Kenya
Bidco Africa, a leading manufacturer of fast moving consumer products in East Africa, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to integrate an additional 30,000 smallholder farmers into its agriculture value chain and create 60,000 entrepreneurs and jobs, all in Kenya, by 2019.
An integral component of Bidco's strategy is its expansion into new agriculture and associated value chains in Kenya, including wheat, maize, rice, potatoes, sugarcane and tomatoes for which an additional 30,000 entrepreneur farmers will be needed. Bidco is ready to contract with farmers at upfront market prices to enhance their confidence in partnering with the company. The company will also offer technical training to increase farmer's productivity and mentor young entrepreneurs through internships designed to make agribusiness more attractive to youth.
The company currently works with 12,500 farmers across East Africa who supply oil seeds (soya beans and sunflower) for its products. Bidco Africa offers farmers a ready market for their products at competitive market prices, and in turn the company secures the raw materials needed to meet market demand. This arrangement has helped to raise the living standards of small-scale farmers by assuring them of a sustainable and ready market for their produce. In addition, Bidco Africa trains farmers in the production of oil seeds, which improves their yields and ultimately increases their incomes.
With the success of the oil seed business, Bidco believes the same model can be applied to other value chains, further enhancing the incomes and livelihoods of small-scale farmers while ensuring food security for an ever increasing population. Integral to the business strategy is the provision of training to smallholder farmers on modern farming methods, including best practices for planting in tropical climates, efficient utilization of land banks, proper chemical and fertilizer use, and business management.