NIGERIA – Crown Flour Mills, a subsidiary of Singapore-based commodity trading giant Olam Agri, has launched a baking academy to train and economically empower women in Nigeria.

The bakery was launched under the Crown Flour Angels (CFA) initiative which aims to equip women with baking skills to help them enhance their earnings and by doing so contribute meaningfully to their communities and the national economy.

The initiative supports Olam Agri’s Seeds for the Future Foundation which seeks to strengthen opportunities for farmers and communities along its value chain.

The foundation focuses on four key social action pillars: supporting farms and farmers to strengthen local wheat production; enabling wider education and skills development for young people; empowering women in farming communities; and promoting health and nutrition across the country.

Speaking during the launch, Ashish Pande, the Country Head for Olam Agri Nigeria, said that: “Olam Agri in Nigeria is a strong player and contributor to Nigeria’s economy through continuously empowering local women.

Mrs. Bola Adeniji, the Head of Marketing, at Olam Agri Nigeria, added that the effort comes at a time when the global bakery product market which was valued at US$397.90b in 2020 is projected to reach $590.54b in 2028.

 “The launch of the Baking Academy offers a scaled support framework for women across regions; and the choice of Kano is strategic,” Adeniji said.

The academy targets extending the impact of the economic empowerment initiative and deepening the agribusiness’ human capital development contributions to the Federal Government’s economic development agenda.

In addition, Mrs. Bola 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.

“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.”

Food fortification key to a sustainable future

Meanwhile, during the recently concluded World Economic Forum (WEF), Pande said that food fortification is at the core of Olam Agri’s purpose of transforming food, feed, and fiber for a sustainable future. 

He added that in the year 2021, the firm produced more than 83 billion servings of fortified foods for consumers in Africa, which included fortified rice in Ghana and Cameroon.

Further, he stressed that Olam Agri is committed to helping raise the standard of public health as it contributes to meeting the growing demand for healthy foods across the African continent and beyond.

In attendance during the launch of the baking academy was the Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the representative of the Kano State Governor who applauded Olam Agri for locating the baking academy in Kano.

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