Charitable organisation, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) has launched a N700 million plan to tackle youth unemployment through agriculture.
This was revealed by the foundation’s Executive Director, Abimbola Okoya during the unveiling of the programme.
BATNF reportedly achieved this initiative through its Wealth is Here Campaign which will last till 2022.
What the initiative entails: Okoya said the programme would involve providing youths with guidance and training in value-adding and food processing practices in agriculture. The strategy that would be employed by BATNF according to Okoya would guarantee food security and inclusive growth by involving more women and youth and promoting improved resilience to climate variability and shocks.
Okoya stated that Nigeria has the potential to become the food basket but to achieve this, efforts must be channelled towards harnessing knowledge and skills to realise the potential which is what BATNF hopes to achieve through this initiative.
Also present at the programme was the Managing Director of BAT Nigeria, Yorub Al-Bahrani who said the initiative was brought up as a result of the fact that the country is rich in agriculture and could impacts youth positively in terms of job creation. In the second quarter of this year, he said the sector contributed 21.9% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and was ranked third highest of a non-oil sector.
BATNF Foundation: The foundation, which was established in 2002, has an investment of over N1.6 billion in sustainable agriculture which has reached over 36,000 farmers.
The Foundation, which commenced field operations in June 2003, has a vision of improving the quality of life of citizens in rural and urban areas of Nigeria. It operates throughout Nigeria on a series of local initiatives with a focus on empowerment through sustainable poverty alleviation, agricultural development, potable water, environmental protection and vocational skills acquisition.