Ogun, April 16, 2018 - The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) has empowered 1,000 rural youths and women across various local government areas in Ogun State with the distribution of 10,000 noiler chickens. The distribution ceremony took place at the state secretariat, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Friday, April 13, 2018.
The Noiler chicken distribution project was in collaboration with the Ogun State Women and Youth Empowerment Programme of the State Ministry of Agriculture.
In an opening remark, the Executive Director, BATNF, Abimbola Okoya, noted that the Noiler chickens would provide the women a means to generate income to take care of themselves and their households. She said the initiative is the fifth in the series of development programmes implemented by the BATN Foundation in the State since 2007, with the establishment of the Odosimadegun Cassava Cottage.
While reiterating BATN Foundation’s commitment to economic empowerment of the people of the state and its objective of improving the lives of rural dwellers, she noted that “the Foundation has since empowered over 20,000 rural farmers in the State.”
In a special address at the occasion, the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga, commended BATN Foundation for complementing the efforts of the State government in making life abundant for the people of the state. She expressed delight that the empowerment would go a long way to improve the lives and standard of living of the beneficiaries. Amosun said that the administration since inception has continued to seek private sector intervention.
“It is our belief that government alone cannot drive the economy. That is why we have continued to extend our hands of collaboration to private investors both within and outside the state. The distribution of 10,000 noiler chickens to 1,000 rural women by the BATN Foundation is another positive response from the private sector to our clarion call,” he said.
In her address, the Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo, described the partnership between Ogun State and BATNF as highly commendable. She said that the empowerment programme is aimed at making rural women in the state self reliant, economically independent and confident to face any situation in life, noting that it is in alignment with the present administration’s determination to fulfil the five cardinal programmes in which agriculture and industrialization as well as hunger eradication and employment creation are the major pivots. She expressed optimism that the “initiative will facilitate the development of the state and the country at large.”
There were lectures by some agriculture experts from Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, developers of the Noiler birds, on how to breed the noiler chickens. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ayoola Oduntan, described the birds as the greatest achievement of the company, noting that the breed was fully developed by geneticists from all over the world. He added that the birds grow to maturity in 14 weeks.
Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke with the media, appreciated the State government and the BATN Foundation for the kind gesture and were delighted that the birds are more resistant to diseases and more productive than the local birds.
The Noiler chick breed is a natural cross breeding process of layers. It is a breed of birds that is cheap to rear because of its ability to survive on little resources in the domestic environment. It can feed on remnants from kitchen and farms.