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MAAN Commends Unity Bank For Supporting Maize Farmers

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Maan Commends Unity Bank For Supporting Maize Farmers

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nigerian maize farmers under the auspices of the Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN) have commended Nigeria’s agric-focused lender, Unity Bank Plc for its role in facilitating the financing of maize production by smallholder farmers in the country through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The President of MAAN, Dr Bello Abubakar gave the commendation while delivering an address at the official unveiling of 21 maize pyramids in Kaduna on Thursday.

Maan Commends Unity Bank For Supporting Maize Farmers
Left-Right: Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya, Head, Agribusiness, Unity Bank Plc, Dr Bello Abubakar, President, Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN and Mr. Usman Abdulkadir, Executive Director, Risk Management & Compliance, Unity Bank Plc at the unveiling of Maize Pyramids by MAAN in Kaduna on Thursday.

Abubakar said Unity Bank has proved to be a trusted and reliable partner of Nigerian maize farmers in their journey to sustain sufficiency in maize production in the country.

“What we celebrate today would have been impossible without our finance partner, Unity Bank. The Bank has been a reliable partner in the journey and we shall continue to partner to greater heights,” Abubakar said.

Through Unity Bank’s strategic partnership with the maize farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the CBN, which focuses on commodities with significant concerns for foreign exchange, maize production output has risen to 11 million metric tons from 10.1 million metric tonnes in 2014.

As a major financial institution partner of the ABP, the Bank has facilitated the disbursement of billions of naira to no fewer than 4.52 million smallholder farmers across the various commodity value chains supported by the ABP, including to an additional 120,000 maize farmers in 2021 alone.

Maan Commends Unity Bank For Supporting Maize Farmers
Left-Right: Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya, Head, Agribusiness, Unity Bank Plc, Dr Bello Abubakar, President, Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN and Mr. Usman Abdulkadir, Executive Director, Risk Management & Compliance, Unity Bank Plc at the unveiling of Maize Pyramids by MAAN in Kaduna on Thursday.
“Unity Bank has maintained its commitment to supporting the girl child by supporting several advocacy initiatives and investing in the education sector
Mrs. Tomi Somefun, Managing Director of Unity Bank.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Oluwatomi Somefun said the Bank remains committed to its strategic partnership with maize farmers to support their capacity to sustain sufficiency in maize production.

She said, “When we say that we are farmers’ best friends, we walk our talk. And I am glad that the association appreciates the invaluable support that we provide by facilitating the financing of their activities. As a Bank, we are driven by the overarching objectives of the federal government to drive food sufficiency, while creating the much-needed jobs for sustainable development.”

Represented by Mr. Usman Abdulkadir, Executive Director, Risk Management and Compliance, Somefun said the pyramids displayed is a reminder of the inherent possibilities in Nigeria’s agricultural value chains and proof that with enough commitment, Nigeria could maximise its potential in agriculture through strategic initiatives such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Since its launch in 2015, the central bank has through the ABP programme, disbursed a total of ₦975.61 billion to over 4.52 million smallholder farmers, who have cultivated 21 commodities across the country for the procurement of inputs and cultivation of maize, rice and wheat.

Maize is one of Nigeria’s most important staple foods, with about 60 per cent of the maize produced in Nigeria used for commercial activities including the production of poultry feeds and as a major ingredient in alcohol production.

Agriculture

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers

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Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers

Olushola Okunlade Writes

With the Nigerian population expected to reach 230 million by 2025, food security is of considerable importance.

Today, the demand for food appears to be outstripping supply as a result of reduced productivity combined with post-harvest waste. To reverse this trend, we need innovative solutions to modernize our farming methods. We must look beyond the farmgate and harvest towards food transformation and preservation. This is where entrepreneurs in the agriculture space, also referred to as agripreneurs, come in.

Nigeria is a country with one of the youngest populations, with a median age of 18 years
and about 70% of the population under 30 (National Population Commission), yet the
average age of farmers today is 50 years. This is evidently a gap we must fill to ensure we
not only feed the present generation, but we secure the future. To achieve this, we must
build sustainable food systems by attracting and building active youth participation in the
agricultural sector.

GOLDEN MORN, one of Nestlé Nigeria’s leading brands, has, therefore, created an Agripreneurship Webinar Series in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University to promote sustainable food systems by increasing youth participation in the sector. The program provides support for young entrepreneurs already
engaged in or set to start up businesses in the agricultural sector through training,
funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Over 200 young agripreneurs have
benefited in the 4 series of the webinar so far.

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers
Left-Right: Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University; Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Ifeanyi Orabuche, Category, and Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Salome Azevedo, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Central, and West Africa.
Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers
Participants/Beneficiaries of the project with Salome Azevedo, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Central & West Africa, and Ifeanyi Orabuche, Category and Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

In his comments at the event to present grants to the nine beneficiaries from the third
and the fourth session of GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Webinar series, the MD/CEO
Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Wassim Elhusseini, said, “I am excited at yet another opportunity to
celebrate the next generation of farmers who will continue to feed our rapidly growing
population, the entrepreneurs, and innovators of tomorrow. Your passion validates the
the strategic importance of GOLDEN MORN’s investment to provide support, opportunities, and platforms to enable you to create or scale your businesses and improve livelihoods within the agricultural value chain.”

“I encourage you, to take advantage of the grants you will receive today, to leverage the
mentorship and the networks that you have formed, to make a significant impact by
creating jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths,” he added.

Also speaking during the presentation, Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of
the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University said, “Entrepreneurship
is a critical pathway to improving the economy and upscaling the Agricultural value chain.
We are delighted that our continued collaboration with Nestlé GOLDEN MORN on the
Agripreneurship Webinar Series continues to provide excellent opportunities for young
agripreneurs to be trained in creating and running sustainable business models, to
enable them to increase their business productivity, ultimately impacting positively on the
the economy of the nation”.

Responding on behalf of all the beneficiaries, Joshua Bitrus of Agrigain Locura Ventures, Kaduna, said, “I am delighted to be a recipient of the GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship
Webinar Series
grant. The grant will definitely go a long way towards actualizing business
expansion, not only for myself but also for my fellow recipients. I call on other young
people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by companies such as Nestlé
Nigeria.”

GOLDEN MORN is an iconic brand from the stable of Nestlé, the Good Food, Good Life
the company is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.

The Webinar series exposes young agripreneurs to relevant training on different aspects of the agricultural value chain, with a focus on grains. Post training, beneficiaries are supported with seedling and mentorship to enable them to thrive in their businesses. The fifth series of the program is scheduled for October 2022. The webinar is open to all budding or existing agric-based entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 years.

About GOLDEN MORN: GOLDEN MORN is a nutritious and great-tasting cereal made from homegrown Nigerian Maize and Soya Protein. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals, aligned to the highest international quality standards.

With 100% of the grains used to produce GOLDEN MORN cereal sourced locally, the brand is not only contributing to sustaining Nestle’s local sourcing ambitions but is also positively impacting the local economy by cultivating the next generation of farmers.

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Agriculture

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN – Building The Next Generation Of Agripreneurs

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Nestlé’s Golden Morn – 35 years of investment in Agriculture

…GOLDEN MORN impacts the local economy positively

…As a force for good, our brand purpose help to drive societal progress by Creating Shared Value across the value chain – Uwadoka

…Nestle Nigeria exposes farmers to different aspects of the agricultural value chain

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Over the years, GOLDEN MORN has worked with local farmers who supply the homegrown maize and soya beans used in the production of the nutritious family cereal. With 100% of the grains sourced locally, GOLDEN MORN is not only sustaining Nestle’s local sourcing ambition but is also impacting the local economy positively by providing a sustainable means of livelihood for the farmers and other players across the value chain.

Raising the next generation of farmers and “agripreneurs” is critical, not just for ensuring the availability of grains for meeting GOLDEN MORN’s needs, but also for building thriving communities and sustained economic advancement.

Wassim Elhusseini MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.
Wassim Elhusseini MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

Therefore, in October 2021, the brand launched GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Series in collaboration with The Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University to promote youth participation in the agricultural sector through training and provision of grants for the most promising agriculture business proposals by the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are exposed to different aspects of the agricultural value chain and are provided with seedlings and mentorship to help them succeed as farmers post-training.

Victoria Uwadoka, Nestlé Nigeria’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager said, “As a force for good, our brands with purpose help to drive societal progress by Creating Shared Value across their value chain. This way, Nestlé is driving impact at scale across critical socio-economic sectors including agriculture to build a sustainable mutually beneficial ecosystem.”

“The GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Series seeks to train and provide support to young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in order to promote sustainable food systems in Nigeria. Over the years, the brand has consistently supported the growth of a thriving ecosystem of farmers and is now attracting and equipping young agripreneurs, who will ensure continuity from the current generation. Equipping these future farmers will ensure a continuous supply of high-quality grains to Nestlé while contributing towards ensuring nutrition and food security to cater to our rapidly growing population estimated to reach 400 million by 2050.”

Speaking at the opening session of the fourth season, Ifeanyichukwu Orabuche, Category & Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, said, “As a brand, we are excited to further extend investment towards creating value for young agripreneurs aged 18 to 35 years, who are already participating in or are interested in the grains value chain. Through the series, we aim to positively impact the local economy by growing agribusinesses to create job opportunities for young Nigerians. Beyond the training and mentoring opportunity, the series provides, beneficiaries who excel during the training also stand a chance to win seed funding for their businesses”.

The two-day virtual training covers various aspects of the agriculture value chain including sales and marketing facilitated by credible and experienced professionals in the agriculture sector.

Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of the Enterprise Development Center, Pan Atlantic University said, “We are delighted that our partnership with GOLDEN MORN is now in its fourth season. Through this partnership, we are building a community of young agripreneurs who can go on to foster innovative ideas and trends in the agricultural sector to build sustainable food systems now and in the future”.

Since the commencement of the GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship webinars, over 200 youths have benefitted from the opportunity provided by the brand with seven of them receiving a total of 3.5 Million Naira to scale their businesses. Nestlé GOLDEN MORN is an iconic brand from the stable of Nestlé, the good food, good life company, committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come. Developed in Nigeria in 1986, the homegrown brand has evolved into an iconic brand, loved
and trusted by Nigerian families.

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Know More About Nestlé Nigeria: Nestlé Nigeria is one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa. For over 58 years, the company has been delighting consumers around Nigeria by consistently delivering high-quality nutritious food. With a staff strength of over 2,200 direct employees, 3 manufacturing sites, 7 branch offices, and a head office located in Lagos, the company produces and markets several iconic brands including NESTLÉ PURELIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI, and NESCAFÉ.

Nestlé’s purpose is to unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.

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Agriculture

How The War In Ukraine Is Impacting Global Food Security

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How The War In Ukraine Is Impacting Global Food Security

CNN’s David McKenzie reports on how the war in Ukraine is causing a shortage of wheat and grain leading to impacts on global food security.

Russia and Ukraine are both agricultural export powerhouses and the war is impacting supply chains across the world.

In Kenya, farmer Caroline Kimarua has been forced to lay off staff following rising fertilizer costs. Russia is one of the biggest fertilizer producers in the world. The cost of fertilizer and the natural gas used to make it have soared. Sanctions and trade disruption could push prices even higher.

CNN also speaks to workers at a bakery in Lagos, Nigeria, where the supply of yeast has been affected.

Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist for the Agriculture Business Chamber of South Africa, says that the war has come at a particularly bad time, when many countries were beginning to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, “The war is starting at one of the worst times. Because we were already thinking we are in recovery mode. On top of that, there were already inflation pressures that were across the world.”

Sihlobo adds, “Africans are spending a lot on fuel and spending a lot on food and in this current moment this is a tough time for the continent.”

The impact of this conflict is coming on top of soaring global grain prices. While countries across the world are feeling the impact, economists are highlighting specific African countries like Senegal and Somalia which rely heavily on Ukrainian and Russian wheat.

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