• Monday, July 15, 2024
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WACOT, BUK sign MoU on sesame farmers academy

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WACOT Limited, a member of the TGI Group and a prominent player in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano (BUK).

The strategic alliance aims to elevate the WACOT Sesame Farmers Academy operations located in Gumel, Jigawa State.

Over the next four years, the MOU will foster a dynamic collaboration, empowering sesame farmers through capacity building, advanced training curricula, and essential certification programs.

The partnership will also facilitate groundbreaking research on sesame varieties and crop technologies and initiatives for afforestation and the restoration of indigenous plants and trees.

Habiba Suleiman, head of strategic partnerships at TGI Group, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, emphasizing the profound expertise of BUK’s Centre for Dryland Agriculture in boosting crop and livestock productivity within Nigeria’s semi-arid and dry sub-humid environments.

Suleiman stated, “This collaboration aims to produce Academy graduates armed with advanced knowledge, leading to increased yields and superior financial outcomes for our farmers and nation.”

“We envision a future where resilient food and agricultural systems play a vital role in achieving food security goals. This partnership with the CDA, renowned for innovative research, represents TGI’s commitment to integrating cutting-edge research into our agribusiness operations,” Suleiman added.

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The partnership with BUK is a strategic complement to WACOT’s noteworthy achievement last year – obtaining ECOCERT certification for Sesame, which allows the exportation of organic sesame produced in Gumel, Jigawa State, to North America and Europe.

The collaboration with BUK will further amplify outreach to farmers, enabling them to adopt practices crucial to elevating food production, enhancing farmer incomes, and securing food security for Nigeria.

Amina Mustapha, a professor and deputy director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture BUK, said, “We are thrilled about this partnership with WACOT, as it aligns perfectly with the Center’s vision of driving sustained development impact through farmer engagement and private sector collaboration.”

With Nigeria standing as one of the world’s leading producers of sesame seeds, accounting for 80 percent of the country’s annual production, WACOT has been at the forefront of cultivating this sought-after crop. Over the past six years, their tireless efforts have mobilized over 10,000 farmers, forming cooperatives and equipping more than 5,000 farmers with indispensable techniques, including best agricultural practices and yield enhancement methods, further reinforced by regular farm advisory services.

Additionally, over the last six years TGI Group companies’ commitment has extended to providing over N1 billion in Agri-input credit financing, empowering farmers with vital resources such as fertilizers, agrochemicals, and certified seeds across various value chains including sesame and rice. Notably, WACOT secures a stable market for sesame produce through a buyback arrangement with farmer cooperatives.

With the global sesame seeds market projected to reach $21.57 billion by 2028, the strategic partnership sets the stage for an even brighter future for Nigeria’s sesame farmers, solidifying the critical role of such alliances in contributing to the growth and prosperity of our agricultural sector.