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Representatives from the complimentary infant food company BENNiMiX met on Thursday August 2, with farmers in Kabala to ensure contracts for next years’ crops. As Sierra Leone’s most established food manufacturer, the BENNiMiX Food Company  works to support local farmers by ensuring them a fair price and long term contracts. This commitment helps to boost agricultural production across the country.
The workshop aimed to encourage new market links between farmers and prospective buyers. The well-attended event saw representatives from 16 Agricultural Business Centres and farming organisations in the Koinadugu region, each group representing over 200 individual farmers, as well as buyers from throughout the country. The meeting was organised by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Promoting Agriculture and Governance Programme (PAGE)  with the support of Vicsons Business Development Enterprise. Creating new and sustainable markets for farmers in Sierra Leone is one of many initiatives run by PAGE as a part of the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security’s Smallholder Commercialisation Programme.
The BENNiMiX Food Company (BFC) attended the workshop to buy raw materials for next years’ production of BENNiMiX, the nation’s favorite infant food. By the end of the day the BFC had successfully established contracts for the production of 350,000 kg of sorghum, sesame and consho peas.
Fatmata Kovuome, the Agricultural Extension Unit Officer at BFC said of the event: “It is exciting to be here meeting so many farmers from all over the Koinadugu region. The contracts we sign today ensure that the farmers have a secure market and will be a paid fair price. Part of the Bennimix ethos is to support Sierra Leone’s farmers and boost agriculture. We are expanding fast and we are always looking for more farmers to buy from, not just this year but for many years to come.”
BENNiMiX complementary baby food is designed to boost the nutrition of children from 6 to 24 months and is created using a combination of highly nutritious, natural ingredients all sourced in Sierra Leone. These nutrients are crucial for infants and young children as a well-nourished infant can recover faster from common illnesses such as malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
Throughout the growing season the BFC is looking to establish more contracts with farmers in Sierra Leone. By always buying local ingredients and creating a nutritious and natural food the BENNiMiX Food Company works to improve Sierra Leone and develop it for the next generation of BENNIMIX babies.
By Gill Erskine
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