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Flour Mills of Nigeria subsidiary, GAIL secures N563 mln funding from US agency

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By Ifeyinwa Ezeokoli

Golden Agri – Inputs Ltd. (GAIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), has received a co-investment grant valued N562.9 million to improve the production of maize and soybean value chains in Nigeria.

The Group Managing Director of FMN, Boye Olusanya disclosed this in a statement in Lagos, stating that the grant was awarded by the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (Trade Hub).

According to Olusanya, Flour Mills of Nigeria-GAIL is co-investing over three billion naira.

He said that the co-investment partnership activity titled: ‘YALWA Abundance” would engage smallholder farmers in an out-grower programme to cultivate 10,000 hectares of land.

Olusanya noted that the farmers would also generate 22,500 metric tonnes (MT) of maize and 12,500 metric tonnes of soybean, respectively.

He added that YALWA Abundance would provide improved agronomic training, extension support, and input loans to 10,000 smallholder farmers to increase the productivity of maize and soybean and minimise post-harvest losses.

Olusanya said that the project was also designed to create 151 new jobs in Nigeria, thereby helping to bridge the unemployment gap in the country, while directly benefitting about 10,000 maize and soybean farmers.

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Olusanya added that 30 percent of the job beneficiaries were female and young farmers with over 60,000 indirect beneficiaries.

He said the partnership was strategic for the company to progressively drive local content development in Nigeria to enable Nigeria to attain the food self-sufficiency mandate in the nearest future.

“FMN is one of the largest food processors in Nigeria with an aggregate combined processing capacity of over 750,000 MT per annum.

“For over six decades, the group has been significantly investing across its five key value chains – grains, edible oil and fats, feeds and proteins, sweeteners, and starch.

“GAIL’s co-investment with the Trade Hub to expand its “YALWA” project and to provide input credit to 10,000 smallholder farmers across four states in Nigeria is an invaluable venture for both the organisation and the nation.

Robin Wheeler, Chief of Party, Trade Hub, said the hub would continue to strive to promote and expand employment, trade and export, and investment opportunities both within the West African sub-region and international markets.

Wheeler said the Trade Hub was a five-year trade and investment facilitation programme that sought to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa.

“Having closely followed the investments made by FMN through its subsidiary GAIL, especially with the level of success recorded under the ‘Yalwa Abundance’ programme, we strongly believe that this partnership will positively transform Nigeria’s food security and boost the local production of maize and soybean,” he said.

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