British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN Foundation) unveiled its 4-year plan, to invest seven hundred million Naira (N700, 000,000) to support smallholder farmers, young Agric-preneurs and Agric related government interventions. This announcement was made at the unveiling of the Foundation’s 2018 – 2022 Country programme.
The strategy for deployment is simple, fund rural agriculture enterprises to move farmers from subsistence to commercial farming; create young agric-preneurs by promoting a commercial mindset towards agriculture; ensure human skills development for the adoption of good agronomic practices and provide access to markets to promote viable and sustainable businesses.
“If we get it right in Agriculture, Nigeria would be unstoppable, but in the era of modernization, many farmers struggle with the pre-requisite needed to move from small scale to large scale agriculture and the inability to transit, threatens their ability to rise out of poverty” observed Chris McAllister, the Managing Director of BAT Nigeria; “as a responsible organization, BAT Nigeria will continue to provide funding and other necessary assistance to the Foundation to ensure that it is able to constantly support agricultural enterprises and improve the livelihood of those living in rural communities”.
“It is our belief that the Country Programme launched today would move Nigeria a thousand steps closer towards achieving the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were livelihoods are improved, poverty is eradicated and there is zero hunger. A Nigeria that is safe for you and me, where entrepreneurial dreams come true and we all thrive, reaching our full potential while ensuring ‘No One is Left Behind’” said Abimbola Okoya, the Executive Director of BATN Foundation.
All agriculture-related institutions, the government, NGOs, CSOs and development partners, the Foundation would work within this four year period, are encouraged to leverage on the grant being made available to ensure the realization of the set objective – to empower rural Nigeria for a sustainable future. British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation was established in 2002 To improve the lives of those living in rural areas, with special emphasis on smallholder farmers, their families and communities. Till date, they have touched the lives of over 28,000 beneficiaries, implemented about 200 projects nationwide, supported 44 institutions and invested N1.5 billion in development activities. By 2022, the goal is to support 62, 000 smallholder farmers and use all platforms to advocate on issues that affect them. You can join the conversation using #supportsmallholderfarmers.