NGO, Gombe ADP train smallholder farmers on agricultural value chains
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), a Non-Governmental Organisation collaborating with Gombe State Agricultural Development Project (GSADP) has trained several smallholder farmers in over five communities on different agricultural value chains.
The Nigeria Country Director, SAA, Prof Sani Miko told journalists in the Awak community in Kaltungo Local Government of Gombe state on Friday that the training was to improve smallholder farmers’ well-being.
Miko said the farmers trained were mainly women and youths.
He said the training had yielded results in line with the mandate of the NGO to improve the living standards of smallholder farmers and their health through healthy feeding.
The country director said many women in the visited communities and several other communities in Gombe state had been trained on different value chains.
“We have trained women on how to make recipes by using available crop produce from cereals, legumes, horticulture crops to make different recipes of food rich in the needed nutrients for good health,” he said.
According to him, many youths have also been trained on how to make their lives better through agriculture by deploying modern technical extension services to them for improved productivity.
Miko said that a five-year strategic plan (2021-2025) had been developed focusing on three areas of regenerative agriculture.
He said it was aimed at improving soil health to make the soil more productive in a sustainable manner while intensifying production.
“The second focus is the nutrition-sensitive agriculture. It is not just the quantity of food you eat but the quality.
”We are deploying a lot of strategic training to impact on the health of smallholders farmers.
Miko said the NGO Was partnering with Harvest-plus, an organisation known for promoting breeding and production of nutrient-based crops to get special nutrients-fortified crops for farmers.
He added that market-oriented agriculture which was the last focus was aimed at ensuring that farmers grow enough to feed themselves healthily, have more to sell and make money too.
He hinted that in 2022, communities in Gombe state would be engaged in seed production to ensure seed availability to produce highly nutritious food for the benefit of smallholder farmers in several communities.
On her part, Ms Queen Thomas, the Subject Matter Specialist on Post Harvest n agro-processing and storage management with GSADP, said since the introduction of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, several women had benefitted.
Thomas said the training had not only focused on agro-processing and packaging but also on the need to ensure hygiene in processing and how to combine available food crops to get a balanced diet.
One of the beneficiaries from Kalkulum community in Akko Local Government Area, Mrs Abigail Sumaila, said the training had empowered women in her community especially in the area of processing and marketing of agricultural produce.
“Before I just sell my paddy rice but since this Sasakawa training, I process my rice before selling.
”Then I made N10, 000 as profit monthly, now after processing and selling my profit is over N50, 000,” she said.
Our correspondent reports that other women and youth groups in the five communities visited by the media, officials of Sasakawa Africa Association and GSADP, also share similar success stories.
Also reports that the media field visit was organised by Sasakawa Africa Association to showcase its activities of project implementation and measure successes and impact made so far.