KENYA – Unilever, a consumer goods manufacturer has announced KES 2 billion (US$12.5M) in support of a millet project that seek to boost innovative localization of millet products in Kenya.

The consumer goods manufacture has partnered with Farm To Market Alliance (FTMA) and the University of Nairobi in an initiative that aims to develop sustainable and innovative products based on millet, contributing to a robust and nourishing future.

Dubbed “The Great Millet Quest” initiative, the project seeks to create a market for millet-based products through a competitive challenge based on innovative millet products.

The competition specifically targets students from the University of Nairobi – College of Agriculture and Veterinary Services (CAVS), encouraging them to become millet ambassadors and drive awareness about the significance of millet as a vital future crop globally.

The project will be done in three phases, capturing the product development, commercialization and off-taking from farmers.

Speaking during the launching ceremony, Luck Ochieng’, Unilever CEO, noted that the Great Millet Quest’ is not just a competition but a call to action for students to become ambassadors for a sustainable and nutritious future.

He added that Unilever, through its nutritional brand Knorr, is proud to spearhead the initiative and looks forward to the transformative ideas that will emerge.

According to him, the potential of millet in reshaping our agricultural future is immense.

“The Great Millet Quest” initiative is a transformative initiative designed to unlock the untapped potential of millet in shaping the future of agriculture,”

“It is a crucial step towards recognizing the significance of millet in our agricultural landscape. Through this initiative we aim to create a generation of informed and passionate individuals who will drive positive change in the way we perceive and utilize millet,” Ochieng’ stressed.

Winners of the Great Millet Quest will get an opportunity to work with the Unilever Future Leader’s Programme. There will also be a grand prize of KES 500,000 (US$3100) as an incentive to bolster their dedication to the cause, with the top prize amounting to the most innovative millet idea.

The second and third runners-up will walk away with KES 250,000(US$1550) and KES100,000(US$600) respectively.

As we launch “The great millet quest” we are laying the groundwork for a sustainable and nutritious future. The competition will not only inspire innovation but also empower farmers to supply millet to Unilever, aligning with our sustainability agenda and promoting regenerative agriculture,” Dexter Adeola, Nutrition lead, Unilever Africa.

The launch which took place at the University of Nairobi Upper Kabete Campus brought together industry experts, government officials, students, and other stakeholders to explore the untapped potential of millet in shaping the future of agriculture in the Continent.

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