Flour Mills Subsidiary partners AgBiTech to fight Fall Armyworm in Nigeria
One of Nigeria’s leading agro-allied companies, Flour Mills of Nigeria through one of its subsidiaries, Golden Agri Inputs Limited (GAIL), is bringing respite to farmers in the country through its partnership with AgBiTech, an American company and global leader in agriculture technology.
Farmers in Nigeria, the first country where Fall Armyworm (FAW) was detected in Africa in 2016, will soon get access to Fawligen, a biological tool that will prevent an infestation of the invasive pest. Fawligen belongs to the new IRAC mode of action Group 31 (host-specific occluded pathogenic viruses). It contains a nucleopolyhedrovirus specific to the Fall Armyworm pest and has been undergoing several regulatory trials and evaluations across several African countries since early 2018.
To ensure that Farmers in Nigeria which has the largest maize acreage in Africa of 5 million hectares can protect their crops from severe injury and economic damage caused by the FAW infestation, Golden Agri Inputs Limited (GAIL), a member of the FMN Group have partnered with AgBiTech as its exclusive distributor for Fawligen in the country.
Commenting on the partnership, Boye Olusanya, the Group Managing Director, FMN said: “We will continue to pursue partnerships in all areas of our core competence, particularly in Agribusiness, where we hope to further strengthen our leadership position. I believe this partnership with AgBiTech is especially important because it offers farmers an efficient option of pest management products that prevent yield losses.”
“Nigerian farmers who are looking to protect their investments will be happy to learn that FAWLIGEN is a terrific addition to a lineup of products under GAIL/FMN that have been developed to do just that.”
Fawligen is manufactured by the global leader and innovator in biological pest control, AgBiTech LLC. According to Dr Shachi Gurumayum, Head of Africa & South Asia for AgBiTech, “Fawligen has been tested and evaluated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for two consecutive years in Nigeria. Having access to a safe and effective biological control for FAW will be welcome relief to many of the Nigerian farmers affected by FAW”.
Since 2002, AgBiTech has been delivering commercially proven products that help make farming more profitable and sustainable. AgBiTech combines field experience with innovative science and proprietary technology, working with farmers, advisors and researchers to develop products that deliver highly effective biological insect management solutions.
AgBiTech CEO Adriano Vilas-Boas says the company continues to invest in leading products and international expansion. “This partnership in Nigeria is a very important step for AgBiTech. The uniqueness of our Fawligen leveraged by the robust GAIL/FMN market platform will bring Nigerian growers a valuable choice to effectively and sustainably manage FAW” he says. “We work hard to offer a mainstream foundational insecticide tool worldwide. Our current commercial focus is in the US, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and multiple countries in Africa like Nigeria, Zambia, and Ivory Coast with new markets under review.”
Golden Agri Inputs Limited (GAIL) is part of the Flour Mills of Nigeria group which strives through the overarching group’s mission of “Feeding the Nation, Everyday” to create value along the entire food chain with its “farm-to-fork” model. This division ensures to increase the use of locally sourced materials to develop and produce consumer foods and industrial ingredients for local markets.
Incorporated in September 1960 and quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange since 1978, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc. is one of Nigeria’s leading food and agro-allied companies. With a broad basket of food products, an iconic brand “Golden Penny” and a robust pan-Nigerian production, distribution, and supply chain network, FMN is a fully integrated and diversified food and agro-allied group.