British American Tobacco Nigeria Limited has rewarded 300 farmers in Oyo State for the supply of raw materials valued at N740 million in 2014 financial year.
The tobacco farmers drawn from 30 farmers association in the state, were given new motorcycles, water pumps with accessories, over head water tanks including sprayers for their efforts in last year’s production.
Speaking during the public presentation of these items to the affected farmers at Iseyin, the head of Leaf, BAT Nigeria, Thomas Omofoye, said the farmers supplied the company leaf worth N740 million which was higher than the N224 million in 2013 under the company’s leaf growing scheme.
“The productivity awards ceremony is a kind of encouragement for them to appreciate them better. First, farmers don’t tend to appreciate what they are doing; perhaps they don’t know that farming is actually a business. So we thought of celebrating them, their activities, and their commitment and to ensure that they are actually earning a living from farming operation,” he said.
The Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, BAT, Freddy Messanvi, added: “I will like to congratulate the farmers on the hard work done in the previous year. Despite the unforeseen acts of nature, they have defied the odds and delivered once again as always.
“I urged the farmers to maximise the resources and technical know-how being offered by BAT to continue to improve their yield, increase their income and improve lives,” he stated.
The Farmers Productivity Awards Scheme is an initiative of the BAT Iseyin Agronomy, a subsidiary of BAT Nigeria, to train, advice and support the farmers by providing farm inputs and extension services on proven best practice annually.
A member of senate committee on agriculture, Senator Anthony Adeniyi, who was present at the event, urged the recipients of the awards to reciprocate the kind gesture of the BATN/ Iseyin Agronomy by making use of the equipment given to them, to boost efficiency in production.
Adeniyi urged other private sector operators and non-governmental operators to take a cue from the efforts of BAT Iseyin Agronomy in the areas of food security and poverty reduction through the development of agriculture.
Source : Independent