The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN Foundation), in collaboration with the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), has made a significant contribution to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Lagos State.

British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN Foundation)
British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN Foundation)

As part of their partnership, BATN Foundation and LSADA have donated 20 fifty-kilogram smoking kilns to beneficiary farmers and agribusinesses.

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To enhance the impact of the initiative, LSADA facilitated intensive capacity-building sessions lasting several weeks.

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Four demonstration sites were established for practical training, benefitting over 200 participants across agricultural zones in Lagos State, including Agege, Ojo, Ikorodu, and Ibeju-Lekki.

The initiative is designed to increase the productivity of farmers and equip them to overcome challenges prevalent in the aquaculture industry.

The handing over ceremony of the smoking kilns, held at the LSADA office in Oko-Oba Agege, saw the presence of government officials, fish farmers’ groups, and cooperative societies from across the state. Elizabeth Tagbenu, a beneficiary, expressed how the training provided new knowledge and scenarios to increase her output. She emphasized the positive impact the smoking kiln donation would have on her business and overall productivity.

The partnership between BATN Foundation and LSADA began in 2018 under the Fingerlings to Fork Project, focusing on building the capacity of fish farmers.

The donation of smoking kilns is part of the Foundation’s commitment to preventing post-harvest loss and supporting the socio-economic development of smallholder farmers in Lagos State.

Mr. Oludare Odusanya, the General Manager of BATN Foundation, highlighted the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to supporting farmers.

He emphasized the importance of not only imparting optimal agricultural practices but also ensuring market access and empowering farmers to enhance the value of their commodities. This holistic approach aims to build resilience against price volatility.

In her keynote address, Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner of Agriculture for Lagos State, represented by Mrs. Aramide Gansallo, Director of Agribusiness at Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, encouraged beneficiaries to maximize the opportunity for successful fish processing.

She noted that the project aligns with the Lagos State government’s agricultural policy, contributing to food sufficiency and security.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Abdullateef Adekunle, expressed gratitude to BATN Foundation, stating that the smoking kiln support would enhance his business and open new avenues for growth.

He emphasized the equipment’s role in processing and preserving fish more efficiently, ensuring better market opportunities and increased income for his family.

The BATN Foundation, established in 2002, has been actively involved in supporting agricultural development programs. With an investment of over 2 billion Naira, the Foundation has reached over 1.3 million beneficiaries.

It aims to double this figure in the next decade through increased support to smallholder farmers across all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.