Olam Agri in Nigeria, a leading agribusiness in food, feed, and fibre, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, launched a baking academy to train and economically 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.
Crown Flour Angels, is an economic empowerment initiative of Olam Agri’s wheat-milling business Nigeria. It aims to equip women with baking skills and enhance their earnings while enabling them to contribute meaningfully to their communities and the national economy. The launch of the baking academy is targeted at extending the impact of the economic empowerment initiative and deepen the agribusiness’ human capital development contributions to the Federal Government’s economic development agenda.
Speaking during the launch of the academy, Mr Ashish Pande, the Country Head for Olam Agri in Nigeria, 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 investment in educating women is key to enhancing the livelihoods of families. The Crown Flour Angels initiative is targeted at equipping keen women with the requisite baking skills to enhance their earning potential,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mrs Bola Adeniji, Head of Marketing, Olam Agri Nigeria, explained that the launch of the CFA Baking Academy follows the successful 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 prosperous market through our initiative.”
Guests at the launch event include the Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the representative of the Kano State Governor, Dr Ibrahim Gaya, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural and Community Development; Alhaji Abdul Munaf Yunusa, the Chairman of Azman Air, Dr Faruk Umar, the Director, Greenwich Merchant Bank, amongst others.
The Emir of Kano applauded Olam Agri for locating the baking academy in Kano. He remarked, “Olam Agri in Nigeria has done well by locating this academy in our state. The academy will help build our community by giving our women the opportunity to learn the skills that will yield good incomes for their households when put to commercial use.”
The representative of the state Governor, Dr Ibrahim Gaya, said, “Olam Agri’s investment in Kano state attests to the state’s peace and impressive security levels. The Governor and the traditional rulers have never relented in their efforts to keep ensuring growth in the state. We, therefore, invite more businesses to emulate Olam Agri.”