Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the RFS Nigeria project ‘Integrated Landscape Management to Enhance Food Security and Ecosystem Resilience in Nigeria’ seeks to build resilient food systems in the northern part of the country. The project works with 70 communities across three agro-ecological zones to integrate sustainability and resilience-building into land use systems and natural resource management.
From 24-26 July 2019, the RFS Nigeria team, in collaboration with the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), held a Training of Trainers workshop in Abuja. The training focused on “Good Agricultural Practices” within rice and groundnut value chains and family nutrition.
The workshop was attended by over 100 agricultural extension workers from Nassarawa and Benue States, as well as representatives from WOFAN and UNDP. The aim of the workshop was to equip extension workers with skills for improving yields and to stimulate their thinking on how to promote climate-smart agriculture. These new skills will be passed on to farmers at the community level with the ultimate aim of maximising groundnut and rice yields and improving food security.
At the training, Mrs Udumma Nwokiki, from the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Unit of UNDP, highlighted UNDP’s desire to support states on implementing sustainable food practices in Nigeria. She was followed by Mrs Salamatu Garba, Founder of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), who expressed her hope that the Training of Trainers Workshop would give extension workers additional skills, such as referral training and innovative means for promoting climate-smart agriculture. She highlighted specifically groundnut value chains, explaining that, if farmers utilise Good Agricultural Practices, they could increase their yields from four tonnes per hectare to six tonnes. This would have major implications for both nutritional outcomes and household incomes for smallholder farmers.
“Farmers in the past thought they could only grow grains in the rainy season, now they can grow rice both in the rainy and dry season.’’
– Mrs Salamatu Garba, WOFAN
This training follows up a Stakeholder Summit on groundnut and rice value chain actors that was held in Abuja in May 2019. The Summit brought together 150 participants along the rice and groundnut value chains from three targeted states. Stakeholders in attendance represented a wide variety of value chain actors, including policymakers, producers, cooperatives groups of women and youths, aggregators, processors, marketers, financial institutions, extension agents, CSOs, NGOs, academia and research institutions from Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Lagos and Abuja.
The Summit provided an innovative Public Private Partnership (PPP) platform for stakeholders to discuss and establish linkages within value chains for rice and groundnuts, as well as to review the immediate business environment within which these value chains operate. One of the immediate results of the summit was a signed contract for joint venture with some of the farmers from Katsina, Jigawa, Kano and private millers.
Both the Stakeholder Summit and the Training of Trainers events are milestones in the establishment of sustainable structures and partnerships for interstate food value chains in Nigeria.