By Omolola Pedro
A leading agribusiness organisation in Nigeria, Olam Agri, has launched a Baking Academy to train and empower more women in the country. The Academy, located in Kano State, builds on the pillars of the Seeds for the Future Foundation’s Crown Flour Angels (CFA) initiative, an economic empowerment and wheat-milling business in Nigeria. The academy is aimed at equipping women with baking skills and enhancing their income in order to enable them make meaningful contributions to themselves, families, communities and the nation’s economy.
Speaking at the launch of the academy, the Country Head for Olam Agri in Nigeria, Ashish Pande, said that the launch of the baking academy was targeted at extending the impact of economic empowerment initiative and deepening the agribusiness’ human capital development contributions to the Federal Government’s economic development agenda. He said, “Olam Agri in Nigeria is a strong player and contributor to the Nigerian economy. Through the pillars of our Seeds for the Future Foundation, we seek to continuously empower local women. We believe that an investment in human capital development, on a broader scale, will engender national prosperity, and educating women is key to enhancing families’ livelihoods. The Crown Flour Angels initiative is targeted at equipping keen women with the requisite baking skills to enhance their earning potential”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Head of Marketing, Olam Agri Nigeria, Bola Adeniji explained that the launch of the CFA Baking Academy follows the successful completion of the facilitation of baking training for over 250 International Cake Exploration Société (ICES) women in Lagos by the business, under the auspices of the same initiative. According to her, “The launch of the Baking Academy offers a scaled support framework for women across regions; and the choice of Kano is strategic. The global bakery product market size was $397.90 billion in 2020. The market is projected to reach $590.54 billion in 2028. This growth projection presents an opportunity for bakers, including graduates from our baking academy. We are proud to be launching our women into this market through our initiative”, Adeniji added.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, applauded Olam Agri for establishing the baking academy in Kano. He said, “Olam Agri in Nigeria has done well by locating this academy in our state. The academy will help build our community by allowing our women to learn the skills that will yield good incomes for their households when put to commercial use”. Reacting to the initiative, representative of the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaya, in his remarks said, “Olam Agri’s investment in Kano State attests to the state’s peace and impressive security levels. The governor and traditional rulers have never relented in their efforts to keep ensuring growth in the state. We, therefore, invite more businesses to emulate Olam Agri”.