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Lifestyle and relationship blogger, Kwadjo Panyin (musingsofanafricanbachelor), looks into how valuable Ghana’s loved pepper sauce, ‘Shito’ is to a bachelor! Check it out: *Shitor is a hot pepper based preparation as a dark brown aromatic sauce or condiment dating back several years in its origin in Ghana. I had just moved to a new city and I was standing in my kitchen sectioning and devouring my carefully prepared rice, baked beans, eggs and shitor when my then new girlfriend walked into my apartment. “You eat that?!” She exclaimed with amusement and a hint of sarcasm. “How can you eat that crap?” she pressed on. “You bachelors are a mess!” She added. “Are you not going to invite me? I was pissed so I ignored her.  How dare she disrespect my well put together bachelor delicacy! “Do you know where I can find shitor in this city?  I asked as I started doing the dishes. “Oh, don’t worry, I will make you some.” Really!!? I went from a pissed off dude to a dotting Casanova in mere seconds. Now I know what most of you are thinking; did she become a keeper simply just because she knows how to make shitor? The answer is “NO” but her ability to make shitor increased her value tremendously for me. I have read and followed the debate surrounding the comment Hammamat made about how to make your African boyfriend marry you.  I have also read dozens of comments and stories about this matter.  I chose not to add to this dialogue since this debate will rage on and there are already enough views out there on the subject. I am,  however, choosing to react to statements Chris-Vincent Agyapong made in his response to the controversy. In his response about the matter, he stated; “Yes, mere shitto, you may say. But it was so valuable to me.”  I totally agree with the sentiment Chris expresses here. The statement Chris made which resonated the most with me goes like this: “As a bachelor who can’t really cook, anytime I pulled a spoon for that amazing shitto, it got me thinking.” Chris, you couldn’t have said it better.  I am certain Chris considered other factors in his decision to marry his woman but his point which I fully support, was the foresight, the thoughtfulness and the consideration she placed in her decision to give him shitor.  Besides, he will know the value of shitor to a bachelor hence, his thoughts about her every time he reached for the bottle.

Here are my thoughts; Shitor is absolutely essential to the existence of bachelors!
Permit me to share how I came to share Chris’s view-point on how important shitor is to bachelors such as myself. When I started college at Rutgers University in New Jersey,  I never worried about what to eat on campus.  Fresh bed sheets, washed and ironed clothes was not part of my day-to-day existence but that was not the best part. The best part about living on campus was three full meals at any of the dining halls of my choosing in the four campuses which made up the college. Four years later, I was done with college and on my own for the first time in an economy-class bachelor pad.  A clueless bachelor and a kitchen equipped with no more than a toaster oven.  I was confronted with a life-threatening quandary; what the heck do I eat? I was squarely in that awkward stage between figuring out how to end my total dependence on someone else providing my daily nourishment, how and what meals to cook in record time and wanting to move away from Chinese takeout every night.  This stage resulted in some sad meals like soggy eggs and tuna on toast, cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the occasional microwave TV meal. It was at this point in my life that my sister entered the scene with the first bottle of shitor.   Shitor entered my culinary life at that point and it has never left my side or let me down. To put things into perspective, the first bottle my sister made for me was 16 years ago. With shitor, a world of possibilities opened up to me and boy, was I excited!!  All I needed at the supermarket was rice, baked beans, some eggs and I was golden.  If I got my hands on cooked meals such as the ones I used to greedily commandeer at African parties, outdoorings and weddings, adding shitor just made everything taste better.
It’s sacrilegious for a bachelor to leave an African party without both arms hurting from carrying takeaway food which is enough to last for weeks. (My fellow bachelors,  just make sure you support the family with a donation. Hey, stuff does not come cheap, you know?)
Up until today, I depend on my sister’s shitor and she never fails me when I call on her.  I have moved all over the United States and my sister, God bless her heart, will not hesitate to make and ship 3 or 4 bottles to me anywhere. I love my sister and of course, I value her for keeping me supplied with shitor all these years. A couple of years ago, my sister traveled outside the States for a long time.  To my utmost horror, my shitor supplies were running dangerously low so I made a desperate attempt to make some myself. I googled, called my sister and some friends who were experts at shitor preparation.  I took notes, watched some YouTube videos and scoured the African markets for shitor making ingredients. Let me just say that my efforts to prepare shitor was a dismal failure and an absolute disaster.  Not only did I almost succeed in burning down my place,  I almost got kicked out of the apartment building.  I had funked up the whole floor with the smell of charred and burnt fish. The stench was so bad in my apartment that I had to pay a fire damage and restoration professional to remove the pervasive shitor odor in my apartment. Needless to say, I never made another attempt to make shitor after that horrible experience. I had to go back to depending on my sister, the generosity of friends and the African markets for my shitor supplies. Those of you who know me well will share my love for shitor without hesitation.  Shitor goes into almost every meal I eat with the exception of cereal. I was once out with a few friends and I told them I was hungry and all the food places were closed so I was heading home. “What will you eat at home?” One of the ladies asked. “Oh, I will probably boil an egg, cook some rice and add shitor to it. My female friends in the group started roaring with laughter but the fellas stayed quiet.  Finally, one of the fellas interrupted the ladies and declared;
“You ladies have no clue that shitor is life for bachelors.”
Shitor, baked beans, boiled eggs and rice sounds like a weird combination,  doesn’t it?  It may surprise most that I actually know how to cook very well.  My mum, God rest her soul, did not spare the boys in the house when it came to teaching her kids how to cook. My reliance on shitor is not due to my inability to cook.  Cooking for just one person sometimes comes as a bore to me and taking out the time to cook up elaborate meals can be a task. To add to the complexities, I am a pescatarian and my inability to eat chicken or meat further limits my choices. My fridge looks like the picture below on most days. 90% of the time, I have no food at home,  however, shitor is an item you will always find at my bachelor pad any day. I literally panic when I am about to run out of shitor because I know I can’t drive to the neighborhood supermarket and pick up a bottle. I have come a long way since those bachelor days after college and my bachelor status hasn’t changed.  My repertoire includes adding shitor to almost everything.  I do not think my love for shitor will change should I get married either. Can a woman’s ability to make shitor cause a man marry her?  I believe the answer lies with the person you ask.  We all have attributes and skills we value the most in the opposite sex.  Just like men, I am sure women also have particular qualities they value the most and can be a factor in their decision to marry a man. Speaking for myself, a woman who can make good shitor is not an item to be checked on my search for a life partner.  However, should I meet someone who knows how to make shitor and take over from my sister, I will definitely value her and consider the constant supply of shitor a huge benefit. Below are some pictures of meals prepared by yours truly. It does not taste as good as it looks just in case you were wondering. By Kwadjo Panyin ]]>

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How Early Do We Expect Learners To Embrace Technology?

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The second Mastercard Foundation Edtech Monday discussion was hosted by Bernard Avle of Citi FM on 25th April, 2022. It was a really exciting and revealing discussion with two amazing Ghanaian women who are involved in education, Dr. Naomi Agyepong, Director of Operations, Alpha Beta Educational Centers and Mrs. Ama Serwah Nerquaye-Tetteh Secretary General, Ghana Commission for UNESCO. They discussed how technology can help inculcate literacy and numeracy skills and provide strong foundations for learning. They also discussed the best way to use technology in a typical Ghanaian classroom and also effectively harnessing the Edtech ecosystem to advance learning.

Key questions around which the conversation revolved were: “What are some of the tools used in early childhood development?”  How do these tools provide a rich learning environment for todays young learner?”

 In the view of Dr. Agyepong, the kind of technological tool used, depends on the objective for its usage:

For every digital experience, the educator needs to think of what the child is going to get out of it. The teacher must think of how the material being used, is going to enhance the learning experience of the child.

Fundamentally, the objective of early childhood education is to improve the child morally, socially, physically and mentally, and the inclusion of technology should aim to enhance this objective she added. She also indicated that there is a lot of content and tools, such as apps, which use interactive content – like games, to reinforce childrens practice of basic numeracy and literacy skills, as well as critical thinking. However, exposure should be purposeful and strictly supervised.

At what age should young children be introduced to technology, in terms of encouraging them to read and write?

Research done by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as reported by Dr. Abishai Anlimeh, gave an age-appropriate limit to which tech devices can be used:Researchers recommend strongly against the use of technological devices by children under 18 months old. Children between the ages of 18 and 24 months can be introduced but should not be allowed to spend more than 30 minutes a day on these tech devices, including television. From the ages of 2 to 5, they recommend that a child does not spend more than one hour per day on these devices. At age 6 to 12, the time can be extended to 2 hours. Dr. Anlimeh advised that parents should train their children to use devices in moderation. Content consumed on digital devices should be educative, instructional and inspirational. According to Dr. Anlimeh, there are research findings that report that the mind fully develops between ages 18 and 24 years, therefore, parents should supervise and make sure children are consuming the right content in their brain development phase.

What are some of the gaps and opportunities in the early childhood education sector in Ghana in general?

Early childhood in Ghana is taken as from 4 years to 8 years old. Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh stated that since a lot of young children are not able to initially use these technologies by themselves, it is important to make certain distinctions with regards to usage: When talking about educational technologies for this age group, you must look at using the technology with them, by them and for them.

Various educational policy documents like the Childhood Education Policy Framework 2021 and the Curriculum for Pre-school 2019, acknowledge the importance of the use of digital devices at early stages of child development. The early childhood stage is when the functional capabilities of the brain are developed and education at this stage has a great influence on later performance in life. Given that technology has become an integral part of the world, it is very necessary that young children are not only socialized with other humans and their immediate environments, but with technology as well.

In response to the gaps in the early childhood education sector in Ghana, Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh stated that the policies only acknowledge the importance but do not clearly give directions on how we intend to go about getting children socialized with technology:
Considering our limitations as a country, it may not be feasible to give every child a device, but we are looking at educational technologies with, by and for the children. So, one of the easiest means is to start looking at for the children, [that is] the use of these devices by the teachers to aid in researching and learning. As a country, that is the kind of conversation we need to have. We need digital tools to help. How we are going to go about it is the question.

Dr. Agyepong reiterated the need to figure out how digital skills can be provided for the mass of children: If things like projectors and large television screens can be made available, that, at least, is a stop gap measure to reach children who may not have devices in their home. Whatever solutions we come up with have to be scalable to make a huge impact”.

Regarding the question of when the use of technology for child learning is appropriate and effective, Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh stated that, it may be helpful for the country to have a clear policy on how we intend to advance digital education in Ghana.

How to support young learners in their development using technology and what the public sector institutions can learn from private sector institutions.

Dr. Agyepong stated that a child should not necessarily have a device in front of them to pick up certain skills: There are many things that can be done to instill learning of STEM in young children. Something as basic as play can still get them to have an interest in science. [For instance], playing in water can teach sinking and floating”. She went on: Obviously, when it comes to technology, if a teacher has access to a device, it makes a huge difference. It makes a difference in what they know and what they are able to teach a child. According to her, accessibility is important and in the public sector context, when it comes to internet and technology, teachers need to be provided a way to access them; for instance, having one lab in each community so that a child does not have to own a device but is given access, at least once per week, will make a huge difference.

Closing remarks

Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh suggested that we begin to think about content if digital education is to be a part of our curriculum: We should make sure that our songs, stories, etc. can be found online, and examples found online look like us. She also advised that despite the negatives that also come with children having access to the internet, parents should look more at the positive side technology brings. She reemphasized the importance of close supervision: Make sure [the content] is purposeful and appropriate. She further advised parents to make sure their children are not left behind by providing supplementary technology experience at home.

Dr. Naomi Agyepong also advised that digital experience in the classroom should be complemented by discussion. She stated that, there are lots of content, but not all are helpful, so parents need to scrutinize the kind of content their children consume. She further suggested that parents consider technology outside the classroom such as coding and robotics.

EdTech Monday is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation’s Regional Centre for Teaching and Learning in ICT.

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How Beard Oil Helps Beautify The Skin?

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When you think of beard oils, you think of healthy and silky beards or just good beard appearance in general, but beard oil goes beyond just improving your beard’s appearance; it also improves skin health, thereby beautifying it.

It does this because of its moisturizing ability, which improves the appearance of the beard and skin beneath it. Let’s face it, what good will come out of a good beard on a bad face? So, most beard oil brands, such as the Bossman Brand, produce their oils to tackle skin issues so as to get the best out of it.

That aside, let’s quickly run down the ways beard oils can help beautify your skin.

It Prevents Acne

Studies have shown that regular beard oil use can prevent acne, leaving you with a fresh face. Many men suffer from acne and cover it with their beard, but you should understand that with good beard oil, especially those that you aren’t allergic to, you can make acne a thing of the past. It’s mainly because of the moisturizing effect of Beard Oil and the fact that it doesn’t clog the pores. They are advertised as active acne prevention products, and they do the trick.

Better Absorption

Due to the fact that it contains carrier oils, it is easily absorbed, and it also easily absorbs nutrients that are very beneficial to the skin, like vitamin A and vitamin D from the sun, which is known to be beneficial to skin health.

Antibacterial

Beard oils are antibacterial and help fight against bacteria that would cause harm to the skin. Beard Oil brands, especially those with jojoba oil, have very strong antibacterial and aid the natural oils on the skin in fighting off unwanted bacteria.

 

Moisturizing effect

Beard oils are very good moisturizers and help prevent dry and itchy skin. Those that live in very dry and hot areas tend to suffer from dry beard and skin, but beard oils combat these by moisturizing the beard and skin, making them look much better. It aids skin replenishment through moisturizing, thereby giving you very healthy skin.

 

Doesn’t clog pores

Many products are guilty of blocking pores and making you very uncomfortable in your own skin, but that isn’t the case with beard oils. Because for healthy beard growth, your pores need to be free. Avoid beard oils that aren’t non-comedogenic, and a good example are those beard oils that contain jojoba oil; that’s because jojoba doesn’t sit on the face and block the pores, but rather, it is readily absorbed into the skin.

Filled with natural oils and vitamins

Many people suffer from dry skin, which in turn leads to having a dry beard, so to combat this, beard oils are filled with a lot of vitamins that nourish the beard and skin. Nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D are all found in good beard oils. To even top things off, they sometimes contain omega 6 and 9, which are very good for skin and overall health.

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Reasons Every Home Needs a Solar Powered Roof Ventilation

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Solar roof ventilation is not only an eco-friendly solution, but it is the best way to cool down your home, especially during humid summer days.

The area between your roof and the rest of the house tends to hold stagnant air. In tropical regions where the air is relatively warm throughout the year, it worsens in the summer. So having a solution to cool the air in your home is necessary, and what better way than to use the sun, which is free?

Solar-powered roof ventilation is one of the most cost-friendly and consistent ways to bring down and maintain cool temperatures in your home. Solar solutions are becoming popular among homeowners. Here are several reasons every home needs a solar-powered roof ventilation.

What Is the Purpose of Installing Solar Powered Roof Ventilation?

Roof ventilation is necessary as it improves air circulation within the space on your roof. It works by removing the slow circulating hot air and any moisture that may have built up within the space. Installing an adequate solar-powered roof ventilation system results in a cooler, healthier, and environmentally friendly home.

Humans cannot exhaust sunlight compared to other fuel sources such as petrol and natural gas from coal. Using the free resource to power solar-powered roof ventilation systems ensures a clean and safe environment as they do not emit any climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Benefits of A Solar Powered Roof Ventilation

Besides cooling the air in your home, here are some of the other benefits of installing a solar-powered roof ventilation:

Roof protection

If the hot air and moisture remain stagnant in your roof for long periods, they can eventually damage your roof. The wood components within the roof structure collect mould easily and start to rot. When you install an energy-saving, solar-powered roof ventilation system, it will help remove the hot air and keep the area dry and refreshing.

Cost-saving solution

Traditional electricity-powered air conditioners use a lot of energy to efficiently cool down living spaces, resulting in regular and high energy bills. On the other hand, solar-powered roof ventilation requires free energy from the sun. If your roof gets stagnant air and moisture damage, the costs you will require to fix a new roof are high.

Easy installation

It is simple to install a solar-powered roof ventilation system as it does not require much time. Various models and sizes are available for your home, and no extensive wiring is needed. Some solar system components include several years’ warranty, giving you extra confidence in their efficiency.

It makes your home cosy and relaxing

One of the reasons homeowners install solar roof ventilation is to make their homes cool and liveable. Australia has sweltering and humid summers, and good solar-powered roof ventilation will bring the house temperatures to comfortable levels.

Winter protection

Besides enhancing excellent air circulation in your home during hot weather, solar-powered roof ventilation systems also provide extra protection in the winter. Some designs have a thermostat that reverses the cooling function during cold weather, providing heat to a home.

Conclusion

A solar-powered roof ventilation is a worthy investment for a wholesome, maintenance-free home. Make sure you ask your installer the appropriate questions. What airflow capacity the unit handles, and which tests they do to ascertain that. Experts in solar-powered roof ventilation systems will know the perfect type for your home and recommend it.

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What Important Lessons Have Movies Taught Us About How to Negotiate?

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Whether we realize it or not, negotiating constitutes a significant part of our daily lives. As a result, it’s important to improve your negotiation skills to give yourself a competitive edge, both in business and social settings.

Thankfully, classes, tutorials, and books aren’t the only way to learn how to become Negotiation Experts. There is a lot to learn from the reel on how to seal the deal.

The entertainment of the big screen can also provide real-life situations that can teach you a thing or two about bargaining, haggling, and sealing deals.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

We can learn valuable lessons from watching a movie out of the comfort of our home and what better way to learn than in a relaxed atmosphere.

According to Research.com, videos are a powerful and effective way to help people overcome the forgetting curveand retain more of what they learn.

In addition, when you watch a film or movie, it allows you to sharpen your skills without the pressure of being in a demanding training or workshop situation.

Movies depict bargaining situations from different angles, portraying many different characters that many can relate to in one way or another. These real-life negotiation scenarios intrigue, inspire and instruct you on how to get it right on the negotiating table.

Let’s play back scenes from the big screen that inspired success on the bargaining table and the lessons to glean from them.

Stand Your Ground – Nightcrawler (2014)

In one scene Lou tries to sell video footage of a crime scene to Nina, a TV News Manager, by driving a hard bargain through wit and confidence. He expertly negotiates for a fair sum because he believes in the value of his product and doesn’t concede to Nina’s lower offer.

Lesson: While you should be flexible in any bargaining situation, focus on highlighting the value of what you have to offer and avoid conceding to lowball offers. Go into the negotiation with a set “walk away” position and stick to it. If you reach an impasse, forego the negotiations rather than settling.

Go The Extra Mile – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort (an up-and-coming stockbroker) does his due diligence in researching potential investors before closing a deal. Armed with background information about the investors, Belfort entices them with investment deals they cannot resist.

Lesson: If you want to draw in a potential customer, prove to them that what you have to offer is the solution to their problems.

The most effective way to understand your customers is through research, so take the time to find out as many details as possible about the other side and determine their challenges and interests. Once you know their pain points you can give them a clearer picture of how your offering answers their needs.

Mastery of an Array of Skills – Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln is a cinematic adaptation of the events that resulted in the abolition of slavery in the United States of America.

During negotiations, the sixteenth President of the USA uses stories and metaphors, at times reason and logic, and other times incentives and pressure. His ultimate success results from knowing his different audience sets at any given time and using the negotiation style that appeals accordingly.

Lesson: In negotiations, what’s good for the goose may not also be good for the gander so knowing your audience is what often separates the negotiation experts from the amateurs.

It’s important to understand and adapt to different dynamics. For example, the way you communicate with suppliers differs from the techniques you would use with customers.

Acing Negotiations Through Movies

Movies are entertaining and can help you to consolidate your appreciation of what you have learned from books, tutorials, and classes. Next time you’re watching that blockbuster, look out for those epic scenes that will boost your skills on the negotiating front.

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The Monumental Visit Of Honorable Kamina Johson Smith, The Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Foreign Trade Of Jamaica To Okuapemman

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History made on Saturday May 14, in Okuapemman as Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade of Jamaica paid a momentous visit to Okuapemman and HRM Oseadeyo Kwasi Akuffo III as part of her state visit to Ghana.

Hon. Johnson Smith connected history by first paying tribute to the first Basel mission church the missionaries established, Christ Presby Church in Akropong Akuapem. History has it on record that, their kinsmen were part of the missionaries to establish the church. The Jamaican missionary, John Hall from Irwin Hill, Montego Bay became the first presbyter of the church, when it was established in 1835. She took the opportunity to meet some of her kinsmen who are descendants of John Hall at a short ceremony at Christ Presby Church, where they shared pleasantries and accompanied them to their first settlement Called Hanover Street here in Akropong. Hon Kamina together with her kinsmen visited the grave yard of their fathers and finally ended the tour at the Akuffo descendants heritage.

An official ceremony was put together to welcome her, held at the Okuapehene’s palace. Gracing this occasion were the former chief justice Her Lordship Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, H. E. Esmond St Claire Reid (Jamaican High Commissioner to Ghana and Nigeria), Mr. Isaac Emmil Osei Bonsu (Honorary Consulate of Jamaica), and other dignitaries in attendance.

Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III Okuapehene,  flanked by his Divisional Chiefs and elders welcomed Hon. Kamina where pleasantries were exchanged, discussed matters of common interest and used the opportunity to install her as the Queen of Tourism and Diaspora. She was given the name Nana Abena Otwiwa Asiedu.

Hon Kamina addressed the gathering by expressing how pleased she was to connect to history and to establish closer ties between Okuapemman and the Jamaican Diaspora.

SOURCE|PAA KWASI KWASI|

EMAIL: Kpaa1195@gmail.com

 

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Nestlé Launches NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1 40g

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Nestlé Ghana Limited has unveiled a new coffee beverage called NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1 40g.

The new product is a rich and creamy blend of coffee, creamer and sugar that provides great stimulation to start the day. NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1 is packaged in NESCAFÉ’s signature red sachet. It is produced in Ghana and provides 10% more beverage than previous offerings.

Speaking at an event to outdoor the product in Accra, Mr. Georgios Badaro, the Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana Ltd, stated, “Nestlé is committed to delivering great taste and quality with all our products and NESCAFÉ is no exception. The Original 3 in 1 is inspired by consumer insights and is guaranteed to provide the perfect start to the day.”

Mr. Jean-Pierre Duplan, Marketing Manager for NESCAFÉ in Central and West Africa, highlighted NESCAFÉ’s dedication to innovation and renovation. “As a brand, we strive to continuously evolve to meet our consumers’ needs. This is why we have introduced the NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1. It has the rich and creamy coffee taste that Ghanaians love. It isaffordable, easy to prepare and formulated with the right energy to start strong every day!”

Your favorite cup of NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1 40g joins the delicious range of beverages NESCAFÉ has offered Ghanaians since 2003. These include NESCAFÉ Classic and NESCAFÉ Sweet and Creamy.

NESCAFÉ Original 3 in 1 is made from coffee sourced responsibly from West Africa under the NESCAFÉ Plan. NESCAFÉ Plan works directly with over 20,000 farmers, offering them training in business and agricultural skills. This allows the farmers to better manage their farms, increase their yield and improve their livelihoods and contributes to strengthening NESCAFÉ’s position as the most sustainable coffee brand in the world.

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