• Saturday, June 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Kano, Sasakawa partner on food production drive, farmer revenue

businessday-icon

…. facilitate over N1.28bn revenues for farmers

In a bid to ensure sustainable food production and in pursuit of the national food security agenda, the Kano state government has partnered Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) to boost the production of staple foods through the ‘Kano State Agro-pastoral Development Project’ (KSADP).

The project, to reduce poverty, and strengthen food and nutrition security in the state is being implemented through 3 pillars, including regenerative agriculture, market-oriented agriculture and nutrition-sensitive agriculture.

Abdurasheed Kofarmata, the project coordinator for KSADP, who addressed the press during the 2023 media field day in Kano, explained that the project is a 5-year program which focuses on improving crop production and enhancing livestock productivity in the state.

According to him, the overall objective of the KSADP is to contribute to reducing poverty and strengthening food and nutrition security in the state by developing agro-pastoral production systems (production, processing, and retailing).

The project is funded by the Islamic Development Bank, (IsDB), the Lives and Livelihood Funds, (LLF) and the government of Kano state, through the Kano State Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA).

Read also:Farmers association seek incentives to boost food production

Speaking on the impact of the project, Kofarmata said that so far in 2023, the project has facilitated over N1.28 billion in revenues for participating farmers in the state.

A breakdown of revenues includes input linkages for farmers worth N240,638,310, output linkages for farmers worth N789,437,568, community savings by farmers which amounted to N36,876,686 and access to finance facilitated for farmers which was N219,736,259 in the period.

He said that a total of 100 agro-input stockists were trained on product knowledge, safety rules and enterprise management and empowered with branded metal kiosks and support packs.

“A seed and inputs fair was conducted in collaboration with ICRISAT where 2,428 farmers across the 44 LGAs gained access to quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, composite flour, and animal feed, at affordable prices from genuine sources, this is extremely important for successful farming business.

“200 youths were trained on agribusiness entrepreneurship in collaboration with ICRISAT, 440 youths were trained on private spray service and enterprise management and empowered with a set of sprayers and PPEs.

“Under the regenerative agriculture pillar, we conducted community entry and sensitization program as well as preseason training for Cereals and vegetable production and stepped down to 366,000 farmers in 44 LGAs.

“We distributed 100 simple planters and 200 units of fertilizer applicators, distributed 400 units of treadle pumps and 100 units of solar-powered pumps. The farmers were practically trained and supported through the following learning platforms.

Read also:Private sector operator harps on tech to address food insecurity

According to him, the project also delivered 44 dry-season rice and maize Community Seed Multiplication (CBSM) learning clusters of 1Ha each, and 352 dry-season rice and maize demo plots of 0.25Ha.

Also, under the Nutrition security pillar, there is an ongoing effort to establish 20 aerated onion storage technology(AOST), 100 rice parboiling enterprises, 28 agro-processing centres and 3 vegetable tent dryers.

In his remarks, Godwin Atser, country director, of Sasakawa Africa Association said that the KSADP presents a platform for Kano state to boost agricultural production, adding that the project has trained over 2,000 extension workers and 5 million smallholder farmers in the state.

“Agriculture is here with us in Kano state and the government has succeeded in addressing food security through this partnership. At Sasakawa Africa Association, we have been able to respond to the shocks occasioned by climate change we see a strong impact of what we are doing in regenerative agriculture by providing improved seeds to farmers.

“We are working across the various value chains such as rice, sorghum, millet, and vegetables and we are ensuring that farmers get the best out of their investments,” he said.

According to Ibrahim Garba, the state project coordinator of the KSADP, the project is targeted at reaching 450,000 farmers directly in 44 local governments in the state across eight crops value chains.

He said the aspect of crop production, mechanization, job creation and gender mainstreaming is being implemented by SAA and the Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority.

“At the beginning of this project, SAA was tasked to handle only 350,000 direct beneficiaries for only rice and maize and only 14 local governments in Kano State, but looking at the capacity of SAA and the expectations from the state, the number of beneficiaries was increased from 350,000 to 450,00, while the number of crops to cover was increased from two crops to eight crops and the number of local governments was increased from 14 to 44 local government.

“As far as KSADP is concerned, SAA has reached the expectation of the Kano state government, and Islamic Development Bank and has surpassed their target. We are happy with the work they are doing,” he added.

Farouq Kurawa, managing director of Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority the partnership with SSA was aimed at driving the needed investment in agricultural extension.

“Our partnership with Sasakawa aligned with my vision for agriculture, aligned with my vision for extension services. We looked around and we said, the extension system was the key and then investment in agricultural extension is declining across the country.

“So we have two options. Option one is for government to continue to invest which may not be sustainable. Option two we said is to look at organisations, be it private companies be NGOs, whose main focus is to provide extension services to the farmers and support them this was what we were thinking of when I came into contact with Sasakawa.

“I’m very glad to see that together we can support the farmers in Kano state so that they can increase yield and so that they can consider agriculture as a business. So that they can have something to earn income on a sustainable basis.