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BATN to partner UI on agribusiness


British American Tobacco

The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN) and the University of (UI) are forging a partnership that will encourage more of its graduates into agribusiness.

The deal will allow some graduates of the institution to access funds to start their own farms. 

Speaking about importance of food security, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, said any country that cannot feed its population is not fit to be called a country.

He observed that “although farming is not attractive to many Nigerian graduates, but as our population is increasing daily, we must strategically plan for food security in this circumstance.” 

Speaking earlier, the General Manager of BATN, Mrs. Ololade Johnson-Agiri said the company is interested in encouraging Nigerian universities’ graduates to be Agropreneurs by advancing some funds to them to set up their own farms.

She disclosed that BATN places much priority on the institution for the programme. “The key element of the project is to fund these youths immediately they graduate from school. We will finance their proposals. We have the monitoring team, we will not give them so much money in the first instance.”

Both the Dean, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Professor Bamidele Omitoyin and the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Professor Ademola Ladele said the two faculties already have a programme in place within the context of the model being proposed by BATN, which led to the establishment of the Institute of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources at Ile-Ogbo, Osun State.

Ladele said: “We are excited about your programme, which has to do with mentoring and capacity building. We have reviewed our curriculum, taking into consideration entrepreneurial and commercial skills of our students. With the current professional direction of their disciplines, they should be able to make money before leaving the university.”

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