Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, May 29, 2023. As part of its Agric ecological project, leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc, has carried out agroecology training and provided oil palm seedlings for planting to farmers in its six host communities in southern part of Cross Rivers State.
Lafarge Africa’s Agric Ecology project which targets all the host communities in close proximity to its plants across the country, aims to improve productivity and livelihoods, enhance resilience and living standards of the target communities through the deployment and adoption of socioeconomic and technical innovations on sustainable agriculture and natural resources management.
Speaking during the training programme to flag-off the project held at Danic Hotel, Ekorinim, Calabar recently, the Plant Manager, Lafarge Africa Plc, Sotirios Valsamakis, revealed that the gesture which is part of the company’s community development interventions is community driven and will be managed by a cluster of community members duly selected by the various communities.
The Plant manager who was represented by the company’s Communications & Public Affairs Manager, South East Operations, Inyang Bassey, noted that the workshop which is in collaboration with the Bridge Leadership Foundation is to encourage participants embrace agriculture as a career and equip them with the necessary skills to build capacity in the area of oil palm farming and ensure sustainable oil palm production in the country.
He advised the communities which include Akwa Ikot Effanga, Mfamosing, Akansoko, Abiati, Mbobui, and Ekong Annaku to make judicious use of the empowerment which he said is a deliberate effort to bridge the gap on dependency on white collar jobs by the people.
“This is basically one of our community development interventions which is derived from our sustainability pillars that focuses on economic empowerment. Today, the world is talking about agriculture and we believe that providing this agricultural exposure and intervention will go a long way to ensure we have more people that will not be expecting or looking forward to white collar jobs but taking agriculture as a major means of livelihood.”
He added that the company did not stop at the level of training but would also support the farmers with farm inputs such as improved varieties of oil palm seedlings, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and other services as well as how to market their produce.
To ensure maximum impact of the community based participatory project, the participants were also taken through actual farm demonstrations and planting of the seedlings at the various designated farms across the six host communities.
Also speaking at the event, the Programme Coordinator, Bridge Leadership Foundation, Joshua Ogar, stated that all measures have been put in place to ensure the smooth running of the oil palm farming in the host community including the training, implementation and monitoring strategies. Adding that with the training the communities can become core producers and marketers of palm oil in the near future.
On their part, the beneficiaries who were trained on Farm Culture by Dr Elvis Udey of Chrisel Farms Ltd and on Oil Palm Nursery and Management by Ekoh Christopher of Zill Organic Growers expressed gratitude to Lafarge Africa saying they are now ready to run with the knowledge acquired.
Some of the community leaders present at the events include Ntufam Alphonsus Bassey, Chairman Community Relations Committee/CRC Rep Mbobui; Elder Hon. Chief Christy Ise, CRC Rep, Akwa Ikot Effanga; Chief Edet Effiong, CRC Rep, Akansoko and Lawrence Bassey, CRC Rep, Abiati.
Since inception, the Lafarge Agric Ecology project has had a positive impact on the food security and market competitiveness of the participating communities, empowered thousands of farmers with limited access to resources, increased job and self-employment opportunities for youths and women, and bolstered the communities’ efforts to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner.
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About Lafarge Africa Plc
Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building solutions company is a member of Holcim Limited, a world leader in building solutions accelerating our world’s green transformation. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lafarge Africa is actively participating in the urbanization and economic growth of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa.
Lafarge Africa has the widest footprint in Nigeria with cement operations in the South West (Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State), North East (Ashaka, in Gombe State), South East (Mfamosing, Cross Rivers State) with Ready-Mix operations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Lafarge Africa has a current installed cement production capacity of 10.5Mtpa.
Lafarge Africa leverages on its innovative expertise to provide value-added products and services solutions in the building and construction industry in Nigeria. Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.com.ng
Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates, and Solutions & Products.
More information is available on www.holcim.com