Empowering 1,000 women in Agro food processing employment Amidst the economic uncertainties and loss of livelihood in many Nigerian homes occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, no fewer than 1,000 young women have been engaged in the production and processing of agro food products by foremost non-oil exporter in Nigeria, Valency Agro Nigeria Ltd.
The Senior Executive Director, Valency Group, Mr. Sumit Jain, in a statement on Wednesday, said the engagement of 1,000 women workforce in its cashew production and processing for both local consumption and export is a demonstration of the company’s women empowerment program, an initiative entrenched in the company’s corporate responsibility and sustainability policy to empower young ladies and women with earning abilities.
He said, “In view of the expansion of production and processing of cashew nuts and other agro products such as sesame, cocoa, ginger, soya bean and black eye bean for export, three peeling centers have been built and fully equipped with the state-of-art modern processing machineries in Ibafo and Abule-oshun area of Ogun State. This automatically implied the need to increase our labor by 400 female employees in addition to the existing 600 in our workforce and also empower them with the skills to perform. At a time as this where many households have lost their livelihood due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, we have remained resolute in our commitment to continue to enhance the enterprise value for shareholders and stakeholders alike which implies sustaining the wellbeing of our people- our employees.”
Jain explained further that the preference for engaging women to make up the huge workforce is not born out of gender prejudice but stemming from an understanding that empowering a woman with earning ability is central to poverty alleviation and coping with the economic impact of the pandemic. Women demonstrate resilience and tend to be better domestic managers of resources in the home front. It is not enough to offer employment opportunities; We ensure the working environment and conditions are safe and motivating for optimum performance. Strict hygiene and COVID-19 protocols are central to our HSE policy where adherence is enforced across all units and areas of the factory premises. We provide in-house medical support, concession food and subsidiary for crèche. “When you empower a woman, you empower the entire family.” He said.
He added that “with the expansion of our production facility and workforce, we are set to launch an innovative tasty and crunchy cashew nut that is high in protein and other essential nutrients, uniquely packaged to appeal to all socioeconomic group and class of consumers. The product which is scheduled to be officially launched in the soonest time will be introduced in three variants with each variant packed in three stocking sizes.
Reacting to the opportunity to join the workforce at Valency Nigeria, Ibiam Rosemary, a packaging operator thanked the management of the company for the recruitment. “In a time when other companies are laying off staffs, they offered Nigerians, women in particular opportunity to be engaged productively and earn a living. This means a lot to me, my family and my colleagues here. I promise to reciprocate with commitment to deliver the performance expected of me in ensuring the company progresses and meet its goals.”
Valency Agro Nigeria Ltd is a subsidiary of Valency International, a global trading conglomerate with operations spread across 15 countries.