By Hassan Zaggi
Leventis Foundation Nigeria (LFN), has in the past 30 years, invested a whooping N30 billion naira in the training of farmers across the country, its Executive Director, Dr. Hope Usieta, has disclosed.
The Foundation has also established nine training institutes in Nigeria and Ghana, with over 25,000 youths and farmers benefitting from the training program in modern and sustainable agriculture practices.
Leventis Foundation is a charity dedicated to the training of youth and farmers in modern and sustainable agricultural practices with the aim of catalyzing economic transformation at the grassroots. It is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Leventis.
Usieta made the disclosure during the formal unveiling of the 30th anniversary logo of the Foundation in Abuja, yesterday.
The theme of the 30th anniversary celebration is: ‘Three decades of service and enhanced livelihoods.’
The training schools in Nigeria, according to him, are located in Osun, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory and that the Foundation recently had a ground-breaking ceremony in Weppa, Edo State for the establishment of an Agricultural Management Institute in the state.
According to him, “On average, the yearly budget of running the schools turns to almost a billion naira. You can look at that over 30 years.
“I mentioned that we recently did a ground breaking ceremony for a school in Edo state. This is slight departure from our current model. What we have been doing so far is to train small scale farmers. We now find out that this will not bring the kind of change we need in the agricultural sector, there is the need for commercial farm managers. The new institute is looking into that future. We are training farmers on management of big commercial farms”.
He revealed that there will be a formal call to present a business plan for the LFN@30 Agribusiness Pitch – a platform for people with great ideas to win up to N2,000,000 Seed Money for their business pursuits in agriculture.