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Guinness ‘Growing with Nigeria’ empowered over 5,000 farmers—Magunda

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria, Baker Magunda, has hailed the ongoing partnership between Guinness Nigeria Plc, and other stakeholders, including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc for driving backward integration in sourcing raw materials.
Speaking during launch of ‘Growing with Nigeria,’ scheme in Abuja, he said has the initiative has empowered over 5,000 farmers across the country, and boosted the level of local content in Guinness’ products to about 75 per cent.
According to him, the scheme is pushing to drastically reduce the import of raw materials for the manufacturing sector and conserving foreign exchange.
While agreeing that the initiative is in line with the Federal government’s effort to diversify the Nigerian economy through the promotion of agriculture, he gave detailed activities of the scheme.
According to him, the farmers were provided with access to finance, supplied with seeds, and provided with inputs, mechanisation, and training among others.

Guiness Baker Magunda
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria, Baker Magunda

Magunda in his address of welcome averred that “We are here today to further demonstrate our commitment to the Federal Government’s policy on diversification and local content, the growth of the agricultural value chain, and that of smallholder farmers who form an integral part of our business. Over the last 20 years, our business has consistently sourced its entire core ingredients such as sorghum and malt extract locally through the various local raw material chains. Currently, our local content sourcing is 75 per cent, and we plan to increase this significantly within the next couple of years.”
In his keynote speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the move remained critical to the transformation of the nation’s economy.
He recalled that “When Guinness began buying sorghum from local farmers many of us realised that this was a revolution that started ahead of its time. The logic of buying raw materials from local Farmers has seen wealth being moved into the rural areas instead of out of the shores of Nigeria, because every time you import anything, you are importing poverty, and exporting wealth and dangers not visible”.