The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Trust Fund, have commenced training for extension workers on rice groundnut based Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and family nutrition.
Farmers and extension workers gathered in Abuja mid-August to learn and acquire skills on improved agricultural services in the production of rice and groundnut with focus on integrated Agricultural practices through sustainable land and water management (SLWM) and climate smart agriculture (CSA). This is part of an ongoing initiative aimed at improving the rice and groundnut value chain in Nigeria.
The three-day training themed “Training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Extension Agents” was facilitated by Women Farmers Advance Network (WOFAN) and National Programme Monitoring Unit (NPMU).
UNDP, represented by Udumma Nwokike, said the training is part of the goal of the project that is being implemented to enhance long-term sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Nigeria, building greater community resilience to climate risks and other shocks that drive food insecurity.
Nwokike, while noting that UNDP was ready to support states that were implementing the project on sustainable food security in Nigeria, further stated that; “UNDP is in total support of this project to encourage farmers and extension workers to be dedicated and ensure the success of the programme knowing the importance of food production. UNDP pledges its full support to government partners, selected states and other places within the savannah that take sustainable food and food security seriously.”
She urged the participants to impact the same knowledge on rural farmers to improve on their agricultural practices by implementing the right procedures and processes of good farming.
Speaking during the training, The Founder, WOFAN, Mrs Salamatu Garba, said the training would give the extension workers additional skills such as referral training to awaken and stimulate their thinking on how to promote climate smart agriculture.
While explaining that the project is for northern Nigeria where drought is a problem, she said there has been lot of improvement from the farmers, adding that rice that was produce by women laborers on farms who have graduated to become farm managers.
She said: “Today, they own their own farm own the process own the action plan and support the process, so for every value chain of the program we are training both women and youths and there is nothing we are leaving behind. We are here to share experience in a participatory discussion for good agricultural practices on how to apply pesticides and advise farmers in return so we can get maximum yield.’’
Participants at the workshop appreciated the important role the project is playing to enhance food security in the savannah zone of Northern Nigeria. Over 100 farmers and extension workers drawn from Nassarawa and Benue were trained and taught to pass down the training to other members of their communities.
The trainings are being organized within the framework of a Five-year UNDP-GEF project (Integrated approach programme for fostering sustainability and resilience for food security in the savannah zones of northern Nigeria) whose aim is to develop and implement a long-term sustainable and resilient food production system in Nigeria and link farmers to a solid agricultural financing and marketing mechanism.