Yadakwari in Garun Malam Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State came alive recently as women farmer-based organizations supported by WOFAN and CARI launched specially packaged rice for markets and supermarkets.
The women groups also commissioned a Women Centre built and equipped with support from WOFAN.
The packaged rice, named Tauraruwa (the Hausa word for Star), is produced by women groups trained by WOFAN and CARI on improved parboiling techniques. After using the improved techniques to process their rice, the women saw that it was of much better quality than what they had been producing before. They believed their rice could compete with rice from anywhere in the country and decided to do just that – that is, compete with rice from other places. So, they came together and reached out to other groups in the other local government areas that had received training on improved parboiling techniques to discuss their ideas. The other groups felt the same way and with support from WOFAN, Tauraruwa was born.
Packed in attractive bags, Tauraruwa comes in 1, 2 and 3 kilograms to target different categories of shoppers in the low and middle income levels.
The women groups have also received training on improved groundnut oil extraction techniques. So, in addition to parboiling, they are also producing groundnut oil. This is the first time all the women are processing both rice and groundnut. Before the two trainings, none of the women was combining rice and groundnut processing. Now however, they are processing both as a way of diversifying their sources of income.
Tauraruwa was launched by WOFAN’s Executive Director, Hajia Salamatu Garba. She was joined by Tambra, the Founder of WANDA, who was in Kano to explore possible areas of collaboration for WANDA. Also present at the launch and commissioning of the Women Centre were the Hakimi, (District Head) of Garun Malam, Alhaji and the Member representing Garun Malam Constituency in the State House of Assembly.
In her speech, WOFAN’s ED praised the creativity and commitment of the women groups, noting that they have shown that with the right support, women groups in Kano State can become major contributors to the state’s economy.
Also speaking, Hajia Hama, one of the women who received rice and groundnut processing trainings and whose speech was received with a big applause by the women groups, disclosed that the CARI Project has turned all the women in her community into entrepreneurs.
She said, ‘With Tauraruwa, we are now real businesswomen in Yadakwari. Our rice now has a name and is bagged for sale in supermarkets. None of us dreamt of this, but we are now businesswomen and everybody will know us in Kano and beyond.’
The women groups have also received training on improved groundnut oil extraction techniques. So, in addition to parboiling, they are also producing groundnut oil.
“W e are indeed grateful to WOFAN, & CARI for this initiative because this is the first time all the women are processing both rice and groundnut “, says Saadatu Mohammed, the leader of the yadakwari women group.
In an excited mood the women in a chorus sang out their slogan from their Farmer Business School-(FBS) training (“Kudin shiga, Kudin Fita”), literarily meaning , “ income has outweighed Expenditure and we are making profit and we will keep diversifying our income”.
The CARI Project which seeks to enhance rice production and processing in Africa is been funded by the Walmart Foundation, while WOFAN is one of the implementing partners of CARI in Kano state targeting over 5,000 rice farmers and processors from four local government areas of Kano State.
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.