In a bid to improve the livelihood of rural smallholder farmers and their families in Bauchi State, the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN Foundation) implemented a poultry project to support 300 rural and vulnerable women in the state.
The initiative, which focused on poultry production, aims to generate income, promote gender equality and combat poverty in vulnerable communities.
Recognising the importance of collaborations, the BATN Foundation partnered with key stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, which assisted in the selection of the beneficiaries and ensured project alignment with national agricultural priorities and the Bauchi State ADP Office, which provided local expertise and streamlined beneficiary selection through their established networks.
Other partners include Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, which supplied the high-quality boiler birds and offered technical support to women, ensuring project longevity, and Eco-lead Imperial Engineering & Global Services Limited, which implemented the project, managing all activities from beneficiary selection to training and inputs distribution.
The 300 beneficiaries were selected from Bauchi, Shira, Tafawa Balewa, Alkaleri, Warji, Ganjuwa and Toro local government areas and each received a carefully curated package including 20 boiler birds, one bag of 25kg specially formulated feeds and one 100g sachets of essential vitamins for poultry production.
To broaden their knowledge of poultry management, beneficiaries were also equipped with adequate training and sensitization to ensure best practices in poultry production. Noilers were selected because of their hardy and dual purpose to produce both eggs and meat.
The flag-off ceremony for the distribution was attended by several dignitaries including the Bauchi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Simon Madugu Yalams, who presided as the chairman of the occasion, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Directors, Heads of departments, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the Yelwa Division, the Acting Programme Manager of Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP), as well as Coordinator of the L-PRESS (State Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Programme), Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Idi, who doubles as Director of Monitoring and Evaluation for the BSADP and the State Focal Person for the project.
Yalams, who expressed gratitude to the BATN Foundation for choosing Bauchi State to benefit from the initiative, commended the efforts of everyone for the success of the project.
Stressing the commitment of the Bauchi State government through the ministry to sustain the project with an innovative approach that complements and supports the beneficiaries and ensures long-term success, he urged the beneficiaries to use the support effectively and appealed for more gestures from individuals and corporate organisations.
General Manager of BATNF, Oludare Odusanya, who was represented by Sadiq Abdullahi Waziri, underscored the foundation’s dedication to enhancing the well-being of rural farmers. He disclosed that over N5 billion has been invested in farmers through strategically designed impactful projects since the foundation’s establishment in 2002, stressing that the project serves as a pilot with the potential for scaling up due to its direct positive impact on smallholder rural farmers.
Speaking on behalf of Eco-Lead Global Services, Dr. Umar Abdullahi Maina, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration from the Bauchi State government through BSADP, urging the beneficiaries to prioritise appropriate bio-security measures and ensure the adequate feeding of their birds as essential steps in safeguarding their livelihoods.
Maina enjoined extension agents from the BSADP and the ministry to continue offering steadfast support in providing routine extension services for the beneficiaries.
Some of the beneficiaries who commented after the distribution expressed gratitude to BATN Foundation for the support and promised that they would ensure the sustainability of the project.
The poultry project aligns with the BATN Foundation’s commitment to empowering rural communities in Nigeria. By fostering self-reliance through income generation and improved nutrition, the project aims to create a lasting impact on women, their families and Bauchi State economy.