BusinessDay

Olam empowers 2,200 sesame farmers in Jigawa

In line with the Federal Government `s move to increase the share of agricultural commodities in Nigeria `s export basket and ensure food sufficiency, Olam Nigeria Limited has kick-start a sesame out-grower program geared at empowering 2000 sesame farmers in Jigawa state.

The scheme tagged ‘Olam Sustainable Village Program’ is designed to improve the livelihood of sesame farmers through distribution of farm inputs, training on crop management practices, and assisting them to access international market.

While inaugurating the program Gumel and Garki local government areas of the state, during the week, Roshan Tated, branch manager of the company in Nigeria, disclosed that the company is distributing high-yielding seeds and training materials to the participating farmers.

He added that the company is also providing interest –free credit facility on fertilizers and pesticides, in addition to buying back the produce at prevalent market prices during harvest.

“This program is an integral part of the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) which has widely improved the livelihoods of farmers across the world with improved yield, labour practices, market access, quality, traceability, social investment and environmental impact.

“As a way of expanding the program to other parts of states in the northern part of the country, we have concluded plans to launch similar scheme in the neighboring state of Bauchi in the coming weeks for 650 farmers” Tated further said.

According to him, “Olam has been providing global market to Sesame farmers in Nigeria for the last 20 years and this program will go a long way in increasing yield per hectare in the country.

“Sesame yield in Nigeria currently stands at 350 -500 kg per hectare whereas the global average is 800-1000 kg per hectare, and it is the company’s believe that with sustained interventions of private sector along with State Governments the goal can be achieved.”

Tated listed the partnering LGAs as: Gumel, Sule Tankarkar, Maigatari, Garki, Gagarawa & Ringim local councils of Jigawa state, adding that the company had distributed more than 3000 bags of fertilizers to the participating farmers.

In the same vein, Adamu Bello, program manager, Olam, emphasized that besides the farmer empowerment initiative, the company has also embarked on a series of community development measures as part of its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S program.

Bello stressed that the company had made provision for clean drinking water by constructing boreholes in Garki, Sule Tankarkar, and Gagarawa Local Government Areas last year, in adding to planting Neem sapling along 32 km stretch between Danladin Gumel and Sule Tankarkar as part of the activities marking this year World Environment Day.

He assured that the company will continue to partner with the Jigawa State Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (JARDA) to sustain farmer`s training session in modernizing farming practices expected to translate into higher and better quality yield.

Also, speaking at the occasion, Sule Gambo, zonal director, Jigawa ADP, expressed his satisfaction at this noble endeavor of Olam and assured the full support of JARDA for the programme.

Gambo commended the company for providing global market access to sesame farmers of Nigeria, disclosing that the current program will boost the sustainability footprint of the company which specializes in linking its farmers to its end consumers globally in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

He revealed that more than 30percent of the farmers registered by the organisation under the program are female, which according to him, is in line with the state endeavour for attaining true gender equality through providing enabling environment and opportunity for women.
Adeola Ajakaiye, Kano

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