A coalition of agriculture support organizations, the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has launched a resiliency and capacity-building program for 300,000 smallholder farmers in Kaduna State to boost maize production.
Dr. Esther Ibrahim, the state’s AGRA Program Officer, revealed this at the training program’s commencement on Wednesday in Kaduna.
She said that the program would boost farmers’ output and resilience while also assisting them in dealing with climate change challenges.
According to her, the program aims to revolutionize Africa’s food system, particularly in Nigeria, which is grappling with major climate change
Ibrahim said the programme would help 300,000 farmers in Kaduna state improve their enterprising abilities and market involvement by assisting them with crop value chains, particularly maize, soybeans, and tomatoes.
“The initiative is a collaboration with other key partners across the value chain to provide expertise, market, funding, and extension support.”
“The main goal is to ensure that Africa and Nigeria can feed themselves with good food,” she explained.
AGRA, she added, depends on the Kaduna government’s performance in cooperation with other organizations such as ‘Tomato Jos’ to develop a market for the crop.
The partnership for the maize value chain, according to Malam Ibrahim Husein, Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, will benefit the state’s agricultural productivity.
He claimed that the state government has encouraged investment in agro-allied sectors to help improve agricultural development and that some of these investors have built fertilizer blending plants in the state.
“They’ve also conducted 35,000 soil tests suitable for various crops and created maps for various value chains,” he added.
He regarded the program as a timely response to the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which had an impact on world food production, particularly wheat.
“The northern states produce over 40% of the world’s wheat, and Kaduna state has already started bridging the grain deficit,” he said. “I believe this scheme will go a long way in promoting crop output.”
The Commissioner praised AGRA’s initiative and expressed his hope that the scheme will benefit small-scale farmers..
Prof. Emmanuel Ikani, Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, further stated that the institute would continue to offer farmers the necessary knowledge on farming techniques in order to increase yields.
According to the Nigerian News Agency, AGRA is partnering on agricultural interventions in Kaduna State with NAERLS, Extension Africa, IITA, Premier Seeds, and Pearl Mutual. Kaduna State.