For 160 women in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State, Northern Nigeria, the 2016 International Women’s Day (IWD) will forever remain special as the day coincided with their graduation from a WOFAN/CARI Parboiling Techniques and Economics training
which has empowered them with new skills, setting them on the path to ‘step (ping) it up’ for gender parity.
The WOFAN/CARI Project seeks to enhance rice production and processing in Africa. The project focuses on both male and female farmers as men are trained to improve quality and output of paddy while women are trained to parboil better to compete with imported rice, thereby facilitating the ‘stepping up’ of the gender in the agricultural sector towards parity. This focus coincides with the theme of the 2016 IWD.
The Parboiling Techniques and Economics Training is a three-day capacity building training which trains women rice processors on modern parboiling techniques as well as basic record keeping so that they can improve the quality of processed rice and also manage their rice processing activities as profit making businesses instead of as hobbies or inherited past-times.
At the end of the training, the 160 women who are members of five different women groups received certificates of participation. Parboiling equipment was also donated to the groups by WOFAN/CARI.
In her closing remarks during the graduation, WOFAN’s Executive Director, Hajia Salamatu Garba disclosed that the CARI Project could not have come at a better time because the objectives of the project are in tandem with the theme of the 2016 IWD which is ‘Step it Up’ for gender parity.
“With such an approach, both genders are being empowered to grow together, not as competitors but as partners in progress. WOFAN and CARI are therefore working to ensure the kind of parity envisaged by the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.”
Male groups in addition to their graduation certificates from the farmers Business school also received irrigation machines, protective clothing’s, input and fertilizers to scale up their rice production, while the women groups commissioned 2 sets of training centres equipped with Rice and groundnut oil processing equipment in addition to their graduation certificates.
Male groups receiving equipment to enhance rice production while women receive items and training to enhance parboiling , processing and packaging
Speaking after the ceremony, Hajia Fatima Rilwan, one of the beneficiaries, expressed delight that the 2016 IWD coincides with her graduation from the Parboiling Techniques training. She said before the training, women were using old methods and working alone to earn very little because of the poor quality of their rice.
She said with the training and support received from WOFAN, all the women groups in Dawakin Kudu LGA are going to step up by working together and improving the quality of their parboiled rice using the new skills they have acquired to improve patronage of the locally produced rice, family income and nutrition as well as address other basic needs.
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.