L-R: Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, signing the Seeds for the Future Education Grant memorabilia; Country Head, Olam Agri Nigeria, Mr. Ashish Pande; and Vice President, Corporate & Government Relations, Olam Agri Nigeria, Mr. Ade Adefeko, at the launch of the Olam Agri’s Seeds for the Future Foundation & Education Grant, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Friday, October 21, 2022.
OlamAgri, a leading agribusiness in food, feed, and fibre and an operating group of Olam Group, has inaugurated The Seeds for the Future Foundation in Nigeria to strengthen opportunities for farmers and communities along its value chain.
The Seeds for the Future Foundation will focus on four key social action pillars: supporting farms and farmers to strengthen local wheat production; enabling wider education and skills development for young people; empowering women in farming communities; and promoting health and nutrition across the country.
The Foundation was launched at an event held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja attended by H.E. the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. As part of the launch, Olam Agri unveiled an educational grant for first-year students in public tertiary institutions.
The Seeds for the Future is Olam Agri’s flagship N300 million wheat value chain development initiative in Nigeria, launched in 2021. Through the platform, the business undertakes interventions under four major pillars: research and development, innovation, education, and economic empowerment. The initiative aims to contribute to the attainment of government’s economic development agenda in key segments of the economy, such as agriculture/food security, economic diversification, women empowerment, nutrition & health, education, and skills development.
Speaking at the unveiling of The Seeds for the Future Foundation, Ashish Pande, Country Head for Olam Agri in Nigeria said, “Olam Agri is committed to supporting activities that have a direct and positive impact on farmers and their communities in Nigeria. The launch of The Seeds for the Future Foundation strengthens our focus on improving the livelihoods of farmers, communities, women and young people, as well as the development of the agricultural sector. We’re supportive of the Government’s economic development agenda and we recognize that the private sector has a key role to play to collaborate to drive sustainable growth in communities.”
On the education grant, Pande explained, “Enabling wider education and skill development for young people is one key area of focus. The education grant will make a valuable contribution to supporting students to fulfil their potential and more broadly developing the country’s human capital.”
The education grants will be awarded to the best qualified applicants using a merit-based selection process that strictly adheres to the rules of fairness, transparency, fair play, and independent audit, from the application, shortlisting, all through to the finalists’ selection stages. It will be open to all the courses of study offered in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.
The Vice President lauded Olam Agri in Nigeria for the launch of the foundation, as well as its investments in the agricultural sector. The Vice President congratulated the company for its impact and achievements in the country over the years, including the National Productivity Order of Merit Award it received earlier in the year, which recognised Olam Agri’s rising importance to the Nigerian economy.
According to the Vice President, “Olam deserves our heartfelt commendation for giving us a reason to celebrate. The company is investing in our future through the Seeds for the Future Foundation investments in seeds that will feed our population and education that will harness the potential of our young people. These laudable intervention efforts in research and seed development and other critical sectors of the economy have attracted greater attention leading to the business receiving the National Productivity Order of Merit Award from the President, H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the year.”
The Vice President mentioned that Olam Agri’s robust investment in various intervention projects demonstrates the company’s confidence in the country. He went further to sympathise with the business for the recent flooding that destroyed its Rice Farm in Nasarawa State, saying that the Federal Government is willing to work with the company to restore the Farmland resources, prevent any future recurrence of such disaster.