In a pioneering effort to transform Kenya’s agricultural sector, Unilever in partnership with Farm To Market Alliance (FTMA), and the University of Nairobi has announced the launch of “The Great Millet Quest.”
This competition aims to inspire the most inventive university students to develop sustainable and innovative products based on millet, contributing to a robust and nourishing future.
“The Great Millet Quest” initiative is a transformative initiative designed to unlock the untapped potential of millet in shaping the future of agriculture. 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 potential of millet in reshaping our agricultural future is immense. ‘The Great Millet Quest’ is not just a competition; it is a call to action for students to become ambassadors for a sustainable and nutritious future. Unilever through our nutritional brand Knorr is proud to spearhead this initiative and looks forward to the transformative ideas that will emerge.” – Luck Ochieng’, CEO of Unilever
The initiative’s objective is to establish Millet Ambassadors who will advocate for sustainable agriculture and promote innovative concepts fostering a sustainable demand for millet, thus contributing to diversifying food sources.
While presiding over the launch, Dr. Paul Ronoh, Principal Secretary, State Department for Agriculture, “said despite millet being able to mature short growing season under hot and dry weather conditions, production in Kenya sill below standard. This initiative is timely and will promote diversification and a shift from the traditional maize that is affected majorly by unpredictable rain.”
“Making millet a suitable alternative cereal will improve food security and income for agripreneurs in the coastal, northern and eastern areas on the country.” Added Dr. Ronoh.
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 Ksh. 500,000 as an incentive to bolster their dedication to the cause, with the top prize awarded to the most innovative millet idea.
“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 takes place at the University of Nairobi, Upper Kabete Campus, brings 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.
George Njoroge, Country Director, Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) said: “Both the Farm to Market Alliance and Unilever are committed to helping to tackle the unacceptably high levels of hunger and malnutrition on the continent by creating a more sustainable African food system.” We as FTMA are committed to supporting and educating farmers to adopt Regenerative Agricultural practices towards a more sustainable food planet.
“The Great Millet Quest” will run from January to March 2024, making it a transformative journey towards a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.