Anna Okon

Global agribusiness firm, Olam International, has announced collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Solve (MIT Solve) to design a challenge aimed at addressing the issues around sustainable food systems in Nigeria.

Olam International and MIT Solve co-hosted a Challenge Design Workshop in Lagos, a statement from the firm on Thursday noted.

It said, “MIT Solve is a hybrid business incubator and business ideas marketplace from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address pressing global issues.

“The workshop was designed to engage cross-sector stakeholders in Nigeria, to deliberate on issues affecting the country’s agribusiness ecosystem and aid MIT in designing Solve’s 2020 Global Challenges.

“The event was also aimed at building connections amongst individuals and organisations with an interest in innovation, to address social and environmental challenges.

The Country Head, Olam Nigeria, Mukul Mathur, was quoted as saying, “Olam started as a single-man, single product operation in Nigeria and we have managed to achieve massive growth over a 30-year period.

“However, we still face problems and we cannot fix these challenges alone. We realise the value of having an ecosystem which can help in proffering solutions, especially around sustainable food systems in Nigeria.

“It is important to have such an ecosystem of likeminded people. I know that together, we can fix these problems.”

The Officer, Sustainability Community for MIT Solve, Sharon Bort, described the programme as an initiative of the MIT aimed at solving identified global challenges.

According to her, the MIT Solve cycle which starts in February of each year initiates competitions in the areas of economic prosperity, health, learning and sustainability.

Bort added that MIT Solve decided to focus on challenges associated with food in an attempt to find solutions to issues around sustainable food systems.

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