The first project the company undertook was the project funded by USAID. Psaltry International Limited aims to facilitate capacity building in the Agricultural sector of the Nigeria Economy. PIL serve as sub-contractors to International bodies like USAID sponsored Projects, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on USAID Sponsored Project. This will seek to Stimulate and Galvanize the confidence of the Stakeholders in the Sector. PIL Empowered Farmers (especially those in the South West, Nigeria) and other producer groups with Technical and Managerial skills needed to grow and expand their businesses. That way the farmers have higher returns on their Investment and are encouraged to do more.
In 2009, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) subcontracted a USAID sponsored prime project to PIL. In the projects, PIL organized farmers in Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states into clusters and provided the farmers with new cassava stem cuttings.
In 2010, PIL executed a project for SAII Associates Limited/Gte (Associates of Chemonics International Inc.) where PIL trained farmers in Oyo, Ogun and Osun on the best agronomical practices for commercial cassava production; provided farmers with the latest cassava stem varieties for 1115 farmers in the aforementioned states; organized 10 hectares of demonstration plots per state to train the 1115 farmers on commercial farming methods; and ensure the successful cultivation of 1115 hectares of cassava plantation by the trained farmers for onward delivery to their markets
2SCALE is a project funded by the Dutch government through the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS, The Netherlands) from June 2012 to May 2017. The project is being run by a consortium of three organizations: International Fertilizer Development Centre being the leading organization, International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA) and Base of the Pyramid (BoP). 2SCALE develops a portfolio of agribusiness clusters in nine target countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Sudan and Uganda). These clusters are defined as a partnership at the local level among actors (producers and their organizations, input suppliers, finance suppliers, processors, warehouses managers, traders, business development services, etc.) that share a common ambition to build profitable commodity-based value chains. The agribusiness cluster approach is designed to help rural smallholders move from subsistence farming to farming as a business and supply agricultural products for local, national, regional and international markets.
The project partners with national and multinational agrifood enterprises as drivers to increase productivity and to improve efficiency and sustainability of supported agribusiness clusters.
In some partnerships, specific attention is also given to ‘base-of-the-pyramid’ (BoP – poor) customers and consumers, who represent the majority of people and therefore the largest market for food and agro-products in sub-Saharan Africa.
In March 2014 BoPInc facilitated initial contacts with Heineken International B.V. As a large buyer of crops and a manufacturer and brewer in Africa, Heineken plays an important role in the economic empowerment of hundreds of thousands of farmers, their families and their communities.The company targets to source 60 percent of its inputs locally by 2020.
In Nigeria, this target is embraced by its subsidiary, Nigerian Breweries (NB), the largest brewing company in Nigeria that markets well-known brands of beers, malt drinks and minerals.NB is interested in strengthening and expanding its local business activities and market share in Nigeria, particularly in the local procurement of cassava-based inputs. NB identified Psaltry, a local cassava processor, as a supplier of high-quality cassava starch.
On its side, Psaltry runs a 400-ha cassava nucleus farm and a cassava processing factory set up in the middle of a cassava production area of over 10,000 ha in Oyo State. Psaltry is interested in developing its business as an efficient and cost-competitive supplier of quality processed cassava products like starch and (in the future) maltose syrup. To achieve this objective Psaltry aims to expand and strengthen its outgrower scheme, increase the processing capacity at the existing factory and increase the quantity and range of processed cassava outputs.
On June 18, 2014, as part of her trade mission to Nigeria with leading Dutch businesses, H.E. Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and development Cooperation attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among NB, Psaltry and 2SCALE. The MoU identified a joint ambition and Parties agreed to jointly investigate the possibilities for cooperation, and a full-fledged partnership agreement by signed in February, 16 2015. The key activities are Mobilization of Smallholder cassava farmers; technical assistance to farmers to increase productivity; linkage building among value chain actors and supporters; Improved access to farm equipment and agro-inputs; expansion of Psaltry’s factory; Offtake of cassava roots and processed products; monitoring and evaluation and communications.
In the last one year, 176 new outgrowers have been mobilized and registered, 2 new farmers group formed, one new cluster formed
2SCALE has trained 976 farmers comprising of 730male and 246 female on land use management, Integrated Soil Fertility Management, Mechanization. The partnership purchased a mechanized planter for pilot and the potential changes have been apparent and they include potential reduction of cost of planting, better timeliness, reduced drudgery and increased plant population target which will translate to more income for the farmers
The partnership has trained 10 extension/field officers as coaches who in turn are building the capacity of the farmers especially in technical and organizational which has led to better coordination and organization of farmers, improved access to information and empowerment of farmers. A new variety was introduced under this partnership and 10 hectares of multiplication plot established and some selected women assisted with improved cassava stem to establish 0.25 hectares each. An hectare in each cluster is used as a learning plot to see the response to tTransporters are integrated to be part of the value chain where stickers were introduced to them to be identified as Psaltry Transporters and this has reduced the cost of transportation by 20%.
Under this partnership, an educational video documentary on achievements and challeneges of Public Private Partnership (PPP) with cassava partnership was made. The video is a 40-mins video and an edited 8min educational video. The links are https://youtu.be//86IVVF-sG10 and https://youtu.be//Cwq-ns04SRA
Psaltry International has expanded its capacity from 20tons per day plant to 50 tons per day plant
West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) pilot programme is a 5 year initiative that seeks to increase the availability of staple foods and purchasing power of farmers in food insecure regions of the sahel as well as increase the resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks.
Psaltry was among the 4 successful grantees out of numerous applicants from 4 countries. The business model is production of 40-tons per day of Vit A fortified Garri using TMS 01/1368 as its raw material. The company has conducted a study on the market for Garri in Niger and is working towards the development of effective distribution channels to market and sell the Garri in Niger focusing on Niamey and other big cities and towns. It is planned to first acquire a warehouse in Niger Republic to serve as a sales and distribution point and also to control the prices. About 6,000tons of garri will be exported to Niger Republic and this represents about 8% of the market share of Garri in Niger Republic.
To achieve the aforementioned, the partnership which is a 1:1 contribution will develop 10 mini farm estates of 200 hectares each with each village fully mechanized having its tractors including planter, harvester, boom sprayer; trucks for hauling cassava; and extension officer.
In the long term, the business hope to provide water facilities, primary school, clinic, training centres and various empowerment programmes for the inhabitants as part of her Corporate Social Responsibility to the 10 villages thereby having 10 towns, there is possibility of each village having a factory in its domain which will provide more jobs for the teemingly unemployed. The project is expected to end by December, 2018.
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative is a project which is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture with the funding support of Bill and Melinda Gate foundation with plans to improve the livelihood and income of cassava farmers of Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and DRC by researching and tapping into best agronomic practices.
It specifically focuses on improved cassava yields, cassava root quality, cassava supply to the processing sector and cassava sales thereby engaging over 100,000 households in Nigeria and Tazania and facilitating the engagement of at least 30% women farmers.
Psaltry partners ACAI in developing a tool ‘use case’ of high starch content and staggered planting to enhance the productivity and profitability of cassava in Nigeria using their existing structures of dissemination.