As part of efforts to turn agriculture into an all-year round activity instead of a seasonal occupation which is it in the North-east, Lafarge Africa Plc is committed to introduce sustainable agriculture in Gombe State, in order for the region to continue contributing to economy growth and tackle youth unemployment. Speaking to journalists at the Lafarge Africa Plc, Coal Mine in Gombe, the Managing Director, Ashaka, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Rabiu Umar, said the move would also help the organisation to achieve greener and more efficient energy use in their cement manufacturing business, â€œLafarge is partnering with the National Agricultural Research Institute, Zaria to introduce industrial ecology in the region.â€
He said: â€œBasically, we are working to improve the yield by 30 to 40 percent of the existing activity and also to introduce other farming practices that would further increase the yield of the same piece of land the farmers use.
That way, we would be able to create a sustainable income stream for our communities and we hope that by doing that, the benefit would be felt all across the region. The company also provides free healthcare to the communities around it at the rate of over 200 patients per day. â€œWe have a clinic here that caters for between 200 to 250 people from the community on a daily basis. It is also an HIV center. All the people who come to this clinic, we treat them at our own expense. The company was planning to replicate the free healthcare delivery system in the community where mining activities began in year 2007.â€