Lagos — British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation has donated a multimillion Naira cassava processing factory to Achoze community in Okene Local area of Kogi State.
The plant, equipped with modern processing equipment such as cassava grater, pressers, sifters, fermentation racks and stainless steel fryers has a functional borehole with a 5000-liter water storage tank, supported by a standalone electricity generator, "to ensure supply of adequate water, not only for processing activities at the plant but also for domestic use by members of the community."
Executive Director of BATNF, Mr. Gbenga Ibikunle who represented its chairman, Dr Christopher Kolade, who handed over the factory, said the foundation, which is an independent arm of BATN single-handedly funded the cottage factory as part of its corporate social responsibility focusing on agricultural, portable water supply, environmental protection and educational development.
He, however, emphasized that the foundation would not exercise any control over ownership or operations as the factory had become the property solely of the community.
Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin, while complementing the efforts of BATNF, immediately ordered the clearance of eight hectares of land in Achoze for the Ogwozumo Fadama Users' Group, Achoze to optimize the utilization of the cassava industry.
Speaking at the hand over and commissioning ceremonies, the latter performed by him, Bolarin while noting that the initiatives of BATNF in the various agricultural development projects in 15 states, including Kogi and within eight years, had enabled beneficiary communities adopt improved production practices and processing techniques, resulting in high output and increase income.