Buoyed by the need to encourage consumption of vegetables as part of a healthy diet, Nestlé, through the Maggi brand, has engaged over 15,000 Nigerian women through its home garden initiative in 2015.
The scheme is an integral part of the yearly Maggi Women’s Forum, which is held in different parts of Nigeria in partnership with various women’s groups, including the Governors’ Wives and Association Presidents. At each forum, participants are taught about the importance of nutrition, health and wellness, shown how to raise a home garden and are given a vegetable garden starter pack containing iron-rich fluted pumpkin vegetable (an indigenous vegetable grown in southern Nigeria), and a leaflet. Over the past five years, women in 18 states have received vegetable seeds.
Commenting on the Maggi home garden initiative, Nordine Meguini, Category Business Manager Culinary, Nestlé Nigeria, said “Maggi helps families to prepare balanced menus, based on nutritious ingredients. The home garden initiative is a simple and sustainable way to promote home cooking with vegetables. The seeds offered are easily grown and do not require specific skills”.
Speaking on the response to the home garden initiative, Imabong Martins, Regional Consumer Services Manager said, “It has been very positive and encouraging. Women have called in to report on the progress of their home gardens. Some women have even taken this a step further and are now selling the vegetables they grow on a commercial basis”.
In 2015, women are encouraged to cultivate and send pictures of full grown-harvest ready plants. The first five women to send their pictures from each association will be visited and presented with a Maggi gift.
This initiative is part of Nestlé’s global commitments to encourage consumption of vegetables as evidence suggests that many people do not reach the recommended level of consumption.
The Maggi Women Forum is expected to reach an additional 15,000 Nigerian women by the end of 2015.
By Michael Otogo