Crown Flour Mill (CFM) Limited, the flour milling subsidiary of Olam Agri, a leading agribusiness in food, feed, and fibre, has successfully empowered a group of indigent women by equipping them with valuable skills in baking. The beneficiaries of the empowerment initiative tagged Crown Flour Angels (CFA) were presented with the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) examination certificates at an event organised by the flour milling business on Friday, September 23, 2022, in Lagos.
The training and certification sponsored by CFM will offer the women the opportunity to take up employment in the hospitality sector, even as a good number of them are expected to set up their very own baking outfits.
Speaking about the Crown Flour Angels initiative, launched in 2021, Ashish Pande, the Country Head for Olam Agri Nigeria, said, “We are committed to enriching the lives of the people across our operating market by providing nutritious, safe and affordable food for the population as well as enabling the actualization of the fine aspirations of the individuals within the population by supporting the economic development agenda of the government.”
According to Pande, “The Crown Flour Angels initiative is one of the valuable levers we are pulling continuously to deliver on the Seeds for the Future programme, our signature value chain development initiative that focuses on supporting farming communities, enabling wider education and skill development for young people, empowering indigent women and promoting health and nutrition across the country.” He congratulated the women and urged them to make the best use of the skills they have acquired at the baking academy.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Cecilia Bolaji Dada, who was the special guest at the event and presented the certificates to the women, commended CFM for its economic development focus and strong support for women.
“The Lagos State Government is aware of the prevailing economic situation and has been initiating valuable schemes that focus on empowering the active segment to boost their productivity and incomes levels. The CFM Crown Flour Angels Initiative would add to the various poverty alleviation and empowerment efforts embarked on by the administration of our hardworking Governor, His Excellency Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. On this note, I thank CFM for being a worthy partner of our dear state,” said the Commissioner.
Mrs Bola Adeniji, the General Manager/Head of Marketing, CFM, highlighted the importance of the CFA initiative. She explained that the contribution of women to the growth of developing nations is receiving growing attention and that research has shown that a 1% increase in women’s contribution to an economy often raises the level of GDP by 58.4%.
On behalf of the beneficiaries of the initiative, Ms Samuel Oluwaseun Oluwatosin, also a participant in the training scheme, appreciated the efforts of the agribusiness. She said the training they received would economically uplift them and their families and reinvigorate a desire to contribute to the nation’s economy positively.
A three-day accelerated bakers’ training was organised in Lagos to kick-start the project. The training was facilitated by an International Cake Exploration Société (ICES) expert, amongst others. So far, CFM has trained over 120 ICES women mostly selected from the lower rung of the socioeconomic spectrum.