Grains and legumes in Central and West Africa

Country: Ghana

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
Sep 18, 2012, updated April 2014


In 2008, we implemented a three-year sustainable agriculture strategy to target specific priorities across Africa, designed to ensure a steady supply of raw materials. One of these priorities is reducing the high mycotoxin levels in cereals (59%) and dried fruits and edible nuts (47%) from Central and West Africa, where up to 30% of cereal crops are lost to this natural, fungus-based contamination.

Cereal grains and legumes (beans, peas, etc) are important to our business, and particularly for our fast-growing breakfast cereals business in the region, where consumer demand for affordable brands like Golden Morn, Cerelac and Nutrend is strong. We have therefore launched a project to reduce mycotoxin contamination levels in Ghana and Nigeria by 60%.

We plan to achieve this through a combination of accurate data gathering; toxin-reduction strategies, developed in co-operation with national extension partners; greater dialogue among stakeholders through electronic media and a newsletter; and management and capacity-building training, which will give 3000 rural farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria a higher price for contaminant-free produce.

Food companies, retailers and wholesalers will become more aware of the health implications of mycotoxin-contaminated grains and legumes, while an estimated 150 million people in the three countries currently exposed to aflatoxin (a type of mycotoxin) will have access to a healthier diet.

The scheme is being rolled out to Zimbabwe, Kenya and other countries with known mycotoxin problems.

Programme description

Value to Society

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps

UN Millenium Development Goal

  • 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • 4 Reduce child mortality
  • 5 Improve maternal health
  • 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • 8 Develop global partnerships