• Monday, July 15, 2024
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British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation invests N4bn, empowers 1,000 Ogun maize farmers


To tackle food insecurity in Ogun State, the British American Tobacco Foundation (BATNF) in partnership with the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, has embarked on a project to support over 1,000 maize farmers in the state.

This project aimed to equip approximately 1,000 maize farmers with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance productivity, profitability, and sustainability within the maize value chain.

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Oludare Odusanya, general manager, BATNF who spoke during the project event in Lagos, said the collaboration between the body and the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture aimed to enhance the capabilities of maize farmers in Ogun.

“This Maize project is specifically aimed towards ensuring inclusivity and equitable distribution of resources, thereby focusing on empowering women and youths to enhance their knowledge, skills, and resources for increased productivity, profitability, and sustainability within the maize value chain across the State’s Agricultural Zones,” he said.

Odusanya noted that the main objective of the BATNF was to improve the farmers’ technical know-how, foster innovation, promote sustainable practices and facilitate access to profitable markets.

He added that the foundation has invested over N4 billion towards supporting rural smallholder farmers and impacted over N1.7 million beneficiaries across all states in the country.

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“This project addresses critical challenges in the maize value chain, including low crop yields, limited access to improved seeds and fertilizers, inefficient pest and disease management, poor post-harvest handling, and lack of access to profitable markets.”

Also, Bolu Owotomo, Ogun State Commissioner of Agriculture, said the initiative was geared towards promoting food security and improving the livelihood of farmers in the state.

“Through the Maize Empowerment project, the BATN Foundation has trained 1,000 farmers in best agricultural practices, and today we are witnessing the distribution of farm inputs and pesticides to 500 for this year’s planting season to ensure a bountiful harvest.”

The project included training workshops centred on Good Agronomic Practices, soil management, integrated pest management, post-harvest handling, and financial literacy. It also involved establishing five demonstration plots, conducting Green Field Days, and distributing inputs.