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BATN Foundation celebrates 20 years of positive change in rural Nigeria

BATN Foundation celebrates 20 years of positive change in rural Nigeria

For the past twenty years, the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (limited by guarantee) (“BATN Foundation”) has been dedicated to empowering rural Nigeria, investing a remarkable $4 billion in community development projects. The Foundation has made a tangible impact in the lives of rural smallholder farmers, women, and youth, promoting economic growth and improving livelihoods.

One of the most notable achievements of the BATN Foundation is the empowerment of over 300,000 smallholder farmers. Through capacity-building programmes and input support, these farmers have gained the knowledge and resources necessary to grow their farms and improve their livelihoods. BATN Foundation’s focus on good agronomic practices has not only enhanced the quality of their produce but also increased their yields, leading to greater economic stability.

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BATN Foundation’s reach extends across all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with over 300 community projects implemented to date. These projects span various programme themes and value chains, demonstrating the Foundation’s versatility and commitment to addressing diverse community needs. The impact of these projects is evident in the number of beneficiaries reached—over 1.7 million people have been supported through various interventions and projects.

Access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene is a fundamental human need, and the BATN Foundation has made significant strides in this area. The installation of 105 solar-powered borehole facilities, each with a 20,000-litre capacity, has provided clean water for countless communities. This initiative has not only improved health and well-being but also reduced the burden of water-borne diseases.

Collaboration has been a cornerstone of BATN Foundation’s success, with partnerships and collaborations established with over 100 key stakeholders, including NGOs, government agencies, private sector organisations, and other industry stakeholders. These partnerships have enabled the Foundation to leverage resources, expertise, and networks, amplifying its impact and reach.

Mrs Adebisi Lamikanra, Board Chair, BATN Foundation, said, “As we celebrate two decades of transformative impact, our focus on agriculture, the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, has been exploited by supporting smallholder farmers and equipping them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Let us continue to nurture the seeds of change we’ve sown, and our unwavering commitment to empowering rural Nigeria will be the catalyst for a brighter future for generations to come.”

The Foundation’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its governance certification, having been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Certificate. The Foundation has been recertified three times, which demonstrates the Foundation’s adherence to international standards of operation, ensuring accountability, transparency, and effective management of resources.

Oludare Odusanya, General Manager of BATN Foundation, reflects on the organisation’s 20-year journey, distilling its mission into a concise statement: “Over the past two decades, we have been privileged to partner with rural communities in Nigeria, witnessing first-hand the power of knowledge acquisition and economic empowerment. This journey has been incredibly fulfilling, and we take great pride in the positive impact we’ve made thus far.

“As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our vision of becoming a leading catalyst for sustainable agriculture in Nigeria. We are confident that by empowering smallholder farmers, achieving food security, and driving economic growth, we will continue to sow the seeds of change that will benefit generations to come.”

In conclusion, BATN Foundation’s twenty-year journey has been marked by significant achievements, impactful projects, and a commitment to empowering rural Nigeria. As it looks to the future, the Foundation remains dedicated to its mission, poised to continue making a positive difference in the lives of millions.

Ibrahim writes from Ibadan.