Babban Gona, Nigeria’s largest maize aggregator has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to create job opportunities for 560,000 youths and women in Nigeria by 2022.
Recognizing that employment is a pathway out of poverty, the partnership seeks to empower individuals in the agricultural value chain and support the acceleration of agribusinesses by using technology to provide training and education, access to cost-effective financing, as well as harvesting and marketing support services to smallholder farmers.
The services and products provided will encourage smallholders to overcome the challenges of supply-side fragmentation and low economies of scale.
BabbanGona provides this support by franchising thousands of grassroots level farmer cooperatives, called ‘TrustGroups’.
“Agriculture is among the most viable potential sources of employment for young people in Africa. We are excited to be part of the process of empowering Nigerian youths, especially women, and its overall impact within this rural community,” said Chidinma Lawanson, country head, Mastercard Foundation Nigeria in a statement.
“Our partnership with Babban Gona will serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurial reorientation, job creation, and sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers,” Lawanson said.
In 2020 alone, the partnership between both organisations successfully created 82,000jobs, of which 70percent were for youth and 33percent for women.
Over the last year, BabbanGona leveraged the support of the Mastercard Foundation to grow to new record levels; with 80,000+ acres under cultivation with recent diversification into rice farming; more than 38,000 smallholder farmer members; and more than 18,500 female entrepreneurs supported across six states of operation.
“The organisation’s goal is simple, to be the earth’s highest impact business. We will accomplish this by simultaneously and dramatically scaling the number of individuals impacted, while also ensuring a depth of impact on each individual to truly transform their lives and the lives of their family,” said Kola Masha, managing director, Babban Gona
“We are fortunate to have Mastercard Foundation’s unwavering support on this journey; working together we can coordinate actions and make much-needed investments in agriculture to ensure resilience among smallholders in the post-COVID-19 era,” Masha said.