There was celebration in the air as the economic empowerment of women groups got a major boost in Jigawa State recently with the commissioning of a multi-purpose agro-processing centre in Aujara, Jahun Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The centre, which was constructed and equipped by Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) in conjunction with women groups in the community, was commissioned by Danmallamdin Dutse, Hakimin Aujara, Alhaji Aminu Danmallam.
The new centre has facilities for extracting groundnut oil and processing other groundnut derivatives. It also has facilities for rice parboiling and milling of other legumes and cereals for domestic and commercial uses.
Speaking on the importance of the centre, the Hakimi had declared that the centre would help the women to aggregate their efforts, increase their agricultural production and processing outputs and ultimately increase their profits. “The centre would increase your bargaining powers and make you better dignified and economically empowered than you are as individual processors”, he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of Jahun LGA, Alhaji Saidu Abdu had expressed delight at the commissioning of the centre, noting that it was a thing of pride that women of the community had collaborated with WOFAN to build and equip such a centre in Aujara.
He thanked the Executive Director (ED) of WOFAN, Hajia Salamatu Garba for seeing it fit to site such a project in Aujara, pledging that the LGA is ever ready to support all women and WOFAN led activities in the local government area.
In her speech, the ED and Founder of WOFAN, Hajia Salamatu Garba declared that the centre was testimony to how strong women could become if they formed groups and collectives to pulled resources together for their socio-economic and socio- pollical well being.
She said, “It all started in Aujara with only 10 women in 2016 and they started manually with the processing of one bag of groundnut in every 4 days with marginal profit of just N250 per week(less than $1) but today by Mid 2018, the one group of 10 women has grown into 240 members spread across several communities in the state with each of the women being a peer leader to another 30 women, giving it a total of 7200 members in Jigawa state. “This has increased the processing capacity tremendously and made it possible for the women to collaborate with WOFAN to build this modest self- sustaining agro processing centre which we are all here to commission today.”
The leader of the UMBRELLA Women group in Jigawa state, Mallama Amina Aujara gave thanks for the initiative of WOFAN, the various trainings and capacity building including group dynamics, financial business management, introduction of labour saving equipment married with advocacy and lobbying skills provided at the centre. “This has led we the women of WOFAN and our trainees, initially incapable of managing profits, to now have a quantum increase in output and income for the groups as we are now processing over 300 bags of groundnut per month and gaining direct access to Markets ”, she explained. Another member from Jigawa stated that they are now more confident in themselves and are able to express their opinion even in a community or state level meetings
The commissioning was witnessed by government officials, traditional rulers and other stakeholders from Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States. An ICRISAT delegation was led to the commissioning by the Groundnut Scale-up Project Country Manager, Dr Michael Vabi who made a presentation on the effects of aflatoxin on nutrition and health.
ED WOFAN Hajia Salamatu Garba addressing the gathering
The Danmallam of Dutse, Hakimin Aujara, Alhaji Aminu Danmallam Commisioning the project, flanked by WOFAN ED and ICRISAT TEAM
Some of the equipments provided by WOFAN
The Dan-mallam Dutse, District Head of Aujara, Alhaji Aminu Dan-Mallam during the ceremony while ICRISAT country director endorses the great potentials of the Women groups.
A cross section of Participants and Beneficiaries from around Jigawa and Kano state of Nigeria
Happy, motivated and confident women who are determined to scale up agriculture into fruitful vocation
Beneficiaries showing gratitude for their progress while hailing Hajia Salamatu, the Founder of WOFAN and thanking her for her tireless support to the women folks
Speaking on behalf of WOMEN in Aujara
Hajia Hadiza Yahaya, the UMBRELLA women leader for the 7200 women entrepreneurs in her motivational address to the gathering
ICRISAT Country Director- Dr Michael Vabi, addressing the women on the importance of value addition to groundut and groundnut products in addressing malnutrition especially in the under 5 years old
The Chairman of Jahun LGA, Alhaji Saidu Abdu – declaring his support to co-finance some of the Women processing activities and to scale up to other communities within Jigawa state
The Chairman of Jahun LGA, Alhaji Saidu Abdu
TWOFAN ED making remark as the the Danmallamdin Dutse, Hakimin Aujara, Alhaji Aminu Danmallam listens,
WOFAN ED explaining the business model of the women the Danmallamdin Dutse, Hakimin Aujara, Alhaji Aminu Danmallam and important dignitaries at the event
Display of equipment and some of the farm produce provided by WOFAN
ICRISAT COUNTRY DIRECOR ADDRESSING THE GATHERING
Some of the equipments and products dispalyed during the ceremony
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.