• Monday, July 22, 2024
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HortiNigeria empowers 62,000 farmers, entrepreneurs to boost food security

Farmers’ security cost piles pressure on food prices

HortiNigeria, a horticulture programme in Nigeria, has empowered 60,000 smallholder farmers and 2,000 entrepreneurs to enhance agricultural productivity and food security in Nigeria.

The initiative was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria and implemented by a consortium including the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) and other international organisations, according to a statement.

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During a two-day workshop held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Muhammed Idris, director of HortiNigeria represented by Abdullahi Umar said the initiative focused on increasing the productivity and income of 60,000 smallholder farmers.

“The organisation has trained no fewer than 60,000 smallholder farmers and 2,000 entrepreneurs in Nigeria to enhance agricultural practices and the development has led to a 92 percent increase in yields in crops such as cabbage, onion, and tomato,” he said.

He added that developing a sustainable and inclusive horticulture sector would enhance food and nutrition security across Nigeria, hence the need for the program.

“The program aims to enhance food and nutrition security in line with both Dutch and Nigerian objectives. Since November 2021, HortiNigeria has launched several initiatives across Kaduna, Kano, Ogun, and Oyo states, spanning ten value chains within the horticulture sector: cabbage, cucumber, okra, onions, pepper, sweet corn, tomatoes, and watermelon,” he said.

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He added that the program is set to expand its reach and continue its vital work in enhancing the capabilities of smallholder farmers, agro-entrepreneurs, and financial institutions as it moves into its last year of implementation in 2025.

“Future efforts will focus on scaling successful innovations, increasing access to finance, and continuing to build robust systems for sustainable agricultural development,” he said.