The Executive Director of WOFAN, Hajiya Salamatu Garba, while speaking with journalists, said the 60 extension workers would engage 100 farmers each on modern farm technologies.
Hajiya Garba said the training also includes exposing the farmers and extension workers to insurance facilities to secure their investments.
“We invited 60 extension workers from four states Nigeria to train them on ICT led technology in agriculture and specifically we are looking at the use of what we call RiceAdvice.
“RiceAdvice is an application that farmers can use and the extension workers, to advice farmers efficiently to be able to give them adequate information, because once the farmers don’t get the right information that they require then it means they are misguided and again because we’re increasing production, it means that we have to change our ways of doing things.”
She said the training includes giving the extension workers and farmers adequate information on climate change and weather forecast.
“We also brought in insurance people so that they will give us the necessary products that they have that go in line with climate shock.
“Last year, you know that a lot of farmers faced flood issues and some faced drought, So now if any of the farmers, unfortunately, finds himself in that situation, what will the insurance company?
“So we are going into a partnership with them, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to make sure that farmers meet up with their requirements, and if anything happens they will also be there to address the situation for the farmers,” she noted
Furthermore, she said, “the third thing we looked at is the use of drones in increasing productivity, advancing farmers and capturing data, extension workers were trained on the simple use of this drone services and expert was brought.”
The WOFAN boss said farmers were going to work in clusters of hundreds of them because they were encouraged to go into various associations and get registered.
“So we have brought that to see how extension workers will be able to use these services and this was demonstrated to all the extension workers.
“At the moment, what we’re doing is we have downloaded the RiceAdvice App for all our extension workers, so it means that for all the farmers that they are working with and each Extension worker is going to work with like a hundred Farmers.
“So now we are marrying technology to increase in production like I always say the size of Nigeria is increasing per day, we used to be 200 million, now it is more than 200 million, we are talking of 230 to 240 million, farm size is reducing and the population is increasing.
“It means we have to look for technology and methods to Which we can meet the food demand of Nigeria, it is only when we invest in such services that we can assist in providing food, which is going to be the next thing to knock off non-oil economic production in the country”, she explained.
Speaking on the cost of the equipment, she said WOFAN started giving technology last year as grants, but a revolving grant.
She said a group that gets a grant is supposed to use that to generate income, which makes it become accessible to the community “and we’re encouraging them to charge a little fee on that, generate enough money to be able to buy another technology for the other Farmers.
“It is for a farmer to benefit and all the group members around the farmer to use it efficiently to generates income at the end of the day what they get there is supposed to now support another set of farmers.
“As for the drone, it is not possible to buy such an expensive technology, but we’re having an agreement with the respective technology companies that when we put the cluster of farmers together, we can pay them for these services together with the farmers contributing stipend and they rendered this services to the farmers,” she added.
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.