The Leventis Foundation Nigeria was established in 1988 to take over and expand the work the “Nigeria Advisory Panel” of the A. G. Leventis Foundation (www.leventisfoundation.org), which had been active since 1979. In support of the Federal Government’s new Educational Programme with its emphasis on self-sufficiency in food production, the Foundation took a major policy decision in 1986 by choosing as its main goal the training of young farmers in modern agricultural methods.
To date nine schools have been established in Nigeria and Ghana specialising in innovative ways of training small scale farmers to improve productivity, efficiency and environmental sensitivity, taking advantage of the latest research at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and elsewhere. The trainees spend a year at the schools and then, returning to their farms and communities, are advised and supported by the schools’ extension programmes.
By their example, they transfer their skills to other farmers in their area, whilst the schools also organise short training courses and farmers’ field days for the surrounding communities. The Foundation is also a prime mover in the preservation of natural resources in co-operation with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. A major contribution in this field involves the construction of a Resources Centre at Okomu, in a government-protected high rainfall forest area in Edo State and the setting up of an agro-forestry conservation programme for local farmers.
The Foundation’s activities in West Africa started with the inauguration of the Nigerian Advisory Panel in 1979.Between 1981 and 1987, the Foundation donated equipment, workshop tools and teaching aids to ten technical colleges in order to help promote the vocational training of Nigerian youths.
The Foundation supports and finances ad-hoc but strategic initiatives that can improve agricultural education and training towards a sustainable development of the agriculture and rural sector of the economy in the sub-region.
The Foundation develops and publishes periodicals and magazines, especially those aimed at improving the performance of small scale framers.