WOFAN (Women Farmers Advancement Network) and ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) have commenced a 2 year joint project on 3 crop varieties of Sorghum, Cowpea and Groundnut.
to introduce improved technology through the entire value chain system to address issues of climate change, improve income and enhance the living conditions of the rural farmers particularly women in Kano state. Various activities lined up for this joint partnership include training of women and youths on seed multiplication, agronomy of all the crops, improved processing and preservation methods, value addition to packaging and storage as well as opening up of market outlets and business management skills of women and youth farmers in Northern Nigeria .
Explaining the purpose of the training, Executive Director of WOFAN, Hajia Salamatu Garba who was represented by the WOFAN project Manager, Mr Taiwo Olawale, told participants that WOFAN and ICRISAT came together to form a partnership to create awareness and provide practical demonstration to farmers across Northern Nigeria to improve food security and profitability in the wake of climate change, by offering them training and technical assistance on new technologies and introducing new and certified varieties of the three selected crops.
Also speaking, ICRISAT’s Scientific Officer, Ayuba who represented the Country Representative Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, introduced the participants to new sorghum, cow pea and groundnut varieties which he said were developed after many years of research to give farmers the very best output while emphasizing that they are early maturing and drought resistant, and known to resist most pests of the three selected crops
As part of the training, participants learnt how to dress seeds before planting and how to plant for maximum benefits. They also learnt that it was necessary to create and maintain measured distance between seeds for better yield as the seeds would have the required space to grow properly.
This project which commences with Kano state for the initial take off of the 2 year joint project has trained 25 women from Dawakin Kudu who will serve as the contact/ Lead Women farmers in the replication of the project with other groups across the state to help the women optimize output on their respective farms.
While commenting during the training, one of the group members excitedly mentioned that “the introduced and well researched groundnut and cowpea which has been promoted to be grown for both the raining and dry season seasons will reduce migration among youths during the dry season and increase yield of the groundnut which if successful can bring back the glory of the groundnut pyramids in Kano”
In order to replicate lessons learnt from the WOFAN demonstration farm, participants received 2 Kg each of the new variety of seeds so that they can plant them on their respective group farms using the new technology. WOFAN and ICRISAT team will then visit the respective women group farms at intervals to monitor progress and make corrections
Other agronomical technology such as weeding, fertilizer application, pest control, etc, etc will take their turns accordingly.
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.