Barry Callebaut, a foremost chocolate company in Akure, Ondo State, South West Nigeria, through its Seed For Change Initiative, has organized a Speech Contest among selected secondary school students in Akure, Ondo State Nigeria to promote agriculture practice among school children in the region.
The speech contest which had 10 student representatives from 5 different schools had contestants from St. Thomases Aquinas College, Fiwasaye Girls College, Akure Muslim College, Imafon High School, and Ogbe High School. The contestants keenly discussed two topics: “The Future of Our Cocoa and Our Planet” and “My Part in Shaping Sustainable Cocoa in Nigeria”.
In his welcome address, the Operation Manager and the Seed For Change Ambassador in Nigeria, Mujeeb Oniyide, said the Speech contest is the first of its kind and intends to sensitize children of school age on the importance of agriculture to society.
“It is a way of sensitizing our future generation and listening to their ideas, on climate change which adversely has become part of the challenges facing cocoa farmers in the country. it becomes imperative to also set up a platform to talk about solutions, questions, and plans for our common future. For this reason, we organize this speech contest for students and we are particularly starting from the highest cocoa-producing state in Nigeria,” he said.
He also stated that Seeds for Change started in the year 2018 as an engagement program for agricultural sustainability. According to him, through the Seeds for Change initiative, the Organization has created a program that inspires globally and acts locally.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Barry Callebaut, representing one of our four strategic pillars. Together with our partners, creating a movement to make sustainable chocolate, the norm will look seamlessly easy. We encourage learning and empowerment throughout the organization to make change happen.”
The event witnessed students sharing ideas and mingling to educate, discuss and find possible solutions to challenges facing growth in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
At the end of the event, Ogbe High School, Akure emerged winner, and was rewarded with instructional materials such as calculators, laptops, school bags, and lots more.
The organization also pledged that as a symbol of the global carbon reduction goal, 100 trees would be planted in 3 different schools which would be nurtured by the students. It noted that this would help students to learn about trees, to take care of them, and to see them thrive day by day, just as they would like to see children thrive.