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Olam assures farmers of good market for sesame, others

In 1989, an Indian, Sunny Verghese, started the company with a container of cashew in Lagos and three staff which blossomed into what is known…

In 1989, an Indian, Sunny Verghese, started the company with a container of cashew in Lagos and three staff which blossomed into what is known in today’s Nigeria as one of the largest agricultural producing, processing and marketing companies that can boast of boosting the foreign exchange earning of the country.
Speaking at the ceremony, Senior Branch Controller North, Mr. Archit Tiwari, an Indian, recalled how the company started from a container of cashew, saying they now have investments in 65 countries. He said the company now deals in over 20 crops.
He listed the crops the company trades in to include; sesame, cashew, shea-nut, cocoa, sorghum and cotton among others in the country and that thousands of farmers are benefitting from them, adding, “we are buying these commodities from farmers directly without intermediary, we process and export them to everywhere part of the world.”
Last year, he said they purchased over 100,000 metric tons of sesame from farmers in the North and that about 150,000 farmers are involved in the farming of the crop.
He said sesame farming in the country was neglected before they started dealing on the crop but that it has now become the darling crop of many famers in the North.
Reiterating the commitment of the company to continue to boost farming in the North, he said the company has been listed on the Singapore stock exchange, saying, “the key to prosperity of the North is in agriculture and we will continue to do our best to revive and make the sector lucrative for all. The training and farming inputs we are providing to farmers have greatly impacted positively on farming in the country.”
The company’s zonal manager overseeing Kano, Adamawa, Borno and Gombe states, Alhaji Bello Adamu, said despite the security challenges facing the North, their offices in the North East are still functioning.
He said with the commencement of the company’s rice mill in Nasarawa State, the country would soon stop importing rice.
“We are the first multinational company to go into rice farming and processing in line with the federal government’s commitment to transform the agricultural sector,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Branch Manager of Dawanau market in Kano, Mukhtar Ahmed, said the company is planning to establish sesame plant in Kano and that 4.5 acres of land has been acquired for the purpose, adding, “it is the only commodity company in the country that does not discriminate against Nigerians in terms of staffing.”