Nestle has declared its intention to invest N535 billion in regenerative agriculture food systems few hours after the United Nations Food Summit was held in New York.
Nestle is currently operating in 22 countries including Nigeria with its country headquarters located in Ilupeju, Lagos State.
In a statement released by the company after participating in the summit, its chairman, Paul Bulcke, revealed that the food company will be investing 1.2 billion in Swiss Francs for the next five years.
Mr Bulcke noted the effort will spark regenerative agriculture across the countries where the company operate, adding that three primary levers will be used to help farmers adopting regenerative practices.
Based on Nigeria’s exchange rate of N444.98 per Franc on Friday, the CHF1.2b is equivalent to N535 billion Nigerian Naira.
According to the statement released, the levers include applying state-of-the-art science and technology, providing technical assistance, offering investment support and paying premiums for regenerative agricultural goods.
The statement revealed that the transition to a regenerative food system aims to protect and restore the environment, improve the livelihoods of farmers and enhance the well-being of farming communities
The statement reads in part; “Nestlé will work with its food system partners, including the company’s network of more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers, to advance regenerative farming practices at the heart of the food system.
“As part of this journey, the company will also initiate new programs to help address the social and economic challenges of the transition.”
The company disclosed that the step was part of Nestlé’s efforts to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 as well as follow the recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shows the climate crisis is intensifying.
Mr Bulcke added, “We know that regenerative agriculture plays a critical role in improving soil health, restoring water cycles and increasing biodiversity for the long term. These outcomes form the foundation of sustainable food production and, crucially, also contribute to achieving our ambitious climate targets.”
Nestle’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Schneider also said, “Today, Nestlé published the most important regenerative farming practices that the company wants to promote. They include, among others, enhancement of biodiversity, soil conservation, regeneration of water cycles and integration of livestock.
“Agriculture accounts for nearly two-thirds of Nestlé’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with dairy and livestock making up about half of that. Nestlé is assessing cutting-edge science and technology to reduce emissions at farm level.”