By Chinyere Anyanwu, [email protected]
Crown Flour Mill Limited (CFM), the flour milling unit of Olam, an agribusiness conglomerate, has extended the impact of its latest wheat value chain development programme to the education sector. As part of its Seeds for the Future programme, the firm recently reconstructed Biyamusu Primary School in Ajingi Local Government Area of Kano State to ensure the pupils gain access to a conducive and richly stimulating learning environment in their formative years.
The Seeds for the Future is CFM’s signature and flagship wheat value chain development vehicle. Through the platform, the business undertakes interventions under four major pillars, namely, research and development, innovation, education, and economic empowerment, on a sustainable basis.
The programme, which was officially launched in October 2021, kicked off with a wheat seeds trial and research project. The initiative falls under its research and development/innovation strategic pillars and is being executed in partnership with the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI). The intervention marked another significant contribution by the business as a key player in the value chain to the ongoing efforts aimed at scaling up local wheat production and the overarching objective of achieving food security, job creation and youth empowerment.
The education sector, which nurtures the brains that drive the economy, has come under sharp focus considering the infrastructure deficit across public schools all over the country. To ensure even development and reposition the economy, CFM, therefore, extended the coverage of the value chain intervention to mitigate the deficits in the education sector.
CFM invested in renovating the classrooms and installed electricity, water and sanitary facilities to create a stimulating and safe learning environment for the pupils.
A direct impact of the facilities upgrade was the drastic increase in pupil enrolment in the school, which jumped from 400 to over 600, the highest enrolment figure ever witnessed by the school at one time.
Speaking about the strategic intervention efforts, Ashish Pande, the Managing Director of CFM said, “the Seeds for the Future programme goes beyond wheat seeds research work and testing for ‘best bet’ wheat seed varieties. It is a strategic value chain investment vehicle that is dedicated to enriching lives.”
He added: “We are a top development actor and an economic growth enabler. Our bold intervention investments in key areas of the economy are targeted at driving impactful socio-economic growth to stimulate improved living conditions, wider productivity in our host communities and the nation at large.”
The leadership of the Ajingi community and the top administrator of the school praised the strategic corporate social investment efforts of CFM in the local school. Sagiru Musa Toranke, the Head Teacher of Biyamusu Primary School, said, “we are grateful to CFM for the impressive overhaul and turnaround in our school and the lives of our pupils. Our pupils’ parents are now assured that their children are no longer exposed to inclement weather conditions while in school.”
Haruna Abdullahi, one of the community leaders in Ajingi LGA, said the intervention effort would go a long way to ensure the children in the community gain access to quality education that would yield valuable benefits for the community in future.