Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, visits MWF’s Fish and Poultry Feed Manufacturing Plant

Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, accompanied by the Assistant Secretary of State, Linda Thomas Greenfield, on Wednesday July 8 visited Ideal Agro Allied Services Ltd—a fish and poultry feed manufacturing plant owned by Mandela Washington Fellow Saidat Shonoiki.  Founded in 2006, Saidat has gradually expanded her company such that she now employs 14 workers and produces 2,500 large feed bags (30 tons) per month. Saidat is an animal food nutritionist. Her ‘excruded’ (floating) feed product competes with foreign brands from Germany, Israel and elsewhere, such that local farmers feel confident patronizing her products. Saidat’s plant is currently running at full capacity.  She is building an agricultural sustainability training center, Green Skills Initiative, with financial support from the World Bank to the tune of N7, 000,000 naira ($35,000).

In her conversation with Mr. Blinken, Saidat relayed that the Mandela Washington Fellowship inspired her to set up her social enterprise, Green Skills Initiative, a leadership and agricultural training center that will train up to 1000 youths and women annually, on leadership, innovative  and sustainable farming techniques, and entrepreneurship, using a train-the-trainer approach.

Meeting with Mandela Washington Fellows

Following his site visit to MWF Saidat’s feed manufacturing plant, Mr. Blinken had a meeting with five Mandela Washington Fellows—Olusegun Odunaiya, Diran Adegoke, Lois Auta, Sani Bello and Saidat Shonoiki—at the Embassy compound. The Fellows shared their post fellowship engagement with the Deputy Secretary. In the course of the meeting, Olusegun Odunaiya, one of the fellows that received the $25,000 United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) grant described his project—a solar powered borehole and solar electrification of 50 homes in a rural village (Dakwa) in the outskirts of the capital city. Through his project, Segun was able to provide water to a village of over 200 homes, at no cost to them, relieving the poor community of a financial burden of $5,000
annually to power the borehole using a generator set. The project is also scheduled to provide 50 homes with solar panels to power their basic electricity needs. L.E.A Dakwa, a public elementary school, is also a direct beneficiary of the solar powered borehole, and has received a computer which is powered by solar panels.


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