NIGERIA – Golden Agri Inputs Limited (GAIL), part of the agro-allied division of Flour Mills of Nigeria Group (FMN), has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kaduna State government to accelerate development of maize and soybean value chain in the region.

The initiative, which is based on a well-defined Backward Integration Strategy, will be undertaken through the YALWA programme.

According to FMN, the project will be carried out through strategic partnerships, with renowned hybrid seed companies like Corteva Agriscience and Golden Penny Fertilizer Company.

About 25,000 farmers are targeted to benefit from the initiative through provision of input loans, agricultural extension, agronomy training, farm-gate participation, and out-grower programs.

Mr. Olushola Fashedemi, Head of Commercial, Golden Agri Input, disclosed that the YALWA program was designed to aggressively double maize and soybean output in Nigeria through greater yields, improved quality, and competitive pricing.

He emphasised that the program will significantly improve the availability of raw material in the country, contribute to the improvement of food security, save millions in foreign exchange spending, and improve the lives of numerous smallholder farmers in the state.

“During the course of the year, the YALWA initiative will have a substantial impact on over 25,000 farmers and up to 100,000 individuals through farmer-household empowerment.

“Furthermore, the program is expected to be expanded to other states within the next five years, including Niger, Gombe, and Kwara,” he stated.

It is envisaged that by the end of the program, yields for maize will increase from 2.5mt to 5mt per hectare and soybean from 1mt to 2mt per hectare.

“I am delighted that we are partnering with Flour Mills in implementing this project. It offers us a realistic solution to our quest for economic diversification,” said Hajiya Halima Lawal, Kaduna State Commissioner.

The parent company of GAIL, recently showcased impressive top-line and bottom-line growth in the first quarter period ended June 2021 registering a 51% growth in revenue.

According to the manufacturing giant, its revenue rose from N154.6 billion (US$375.7m) attained in Q1 of 2020/21 to N233.7 billion (US$567.9m).

FMN attributed the growth to bullish performance across all business segments underpinned by sustained demand in agro-allied, particularly in its edible oils and fertilizer businesses, and continued improvements in the food segment.

Following the strong revenue growth, the owner of the iconic food brand Golden Penny, attained a 12% rise in Profit Before Tax to N7.3 billion (US$17.74m), and Profit After Tax is at N5.4 billion (US$13.12m), compared to N5.0 billion (US$12.15m) in Q1 2020/21, a 10% YoY growth.

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