NIGERIA’S Dantata Foods has signed an agreement with UK agricultural technology firm RegenFARM and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office of the British government to pioneer a regenerative agricultural project in Nigeria.
Part of a plan to adopt technology for efficient, effective and climate friendly operations, the deal was entered into under an agricultural sector intervention project. According to Climate Reality Project, a non-profit climate advocacy initiative, regenerative agriculture, is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management and fertiliser usage.
Sanusi Bature, a Dantata Foods and Allied Products Company spokesman, said that the deal worth $100m is expected to employ over 200,000 farmers across Kano, Cross River, Jigawa, Kaduna, Bauchi, Katsina, Kebbi, Benue, Niger and Plateau states.
Tajudeen Aminu Dantata, the company’s chairman, added: “This tripartite partnership is aimed at increasing quality food production, enhancing export opportunities of Nigeria’s agricultural commodities and improving the soil fertility, nutrients content and organic matter. The partnership has already galvanized access to markets in the UK and other parts of Europe for the organic commodities produced under the regenerative agriculture practices.”
Jason Haywarda, the managing director of RegenFARM, said:“Regenerative agriculture would be an all-embracing opportunity for the agro-processing industry in the country, as the smallholder farmers’ and out-growers’ productivity, profitability and resilience to climate change will be greatly enhanced.”
For Nigeria, the regenerative agricultural project is timely and apt as the country contends with the challenges of soil degradation through flooding, erosion and continued cultivation which led to lower productivity of farm produce. The consistent application of inorganic fertiliser, pesticides and weed control chemicals have been discovered to have negative implications on the sustainability of farm lands over the years.