By Bukola Adewumi
United Nations Development Global Environment Facility Integrated Approach Programme on Food Security (UNDP-GEF-IAP-FS), in collaboration with Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) have put smiles on faces of Nigerian farmers.
Some of the farmers expressed their joy while recounting their successes under the project on Friday in Abuja at the state level multi-stakeholders gender sensitive platform.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the resilient food security project was created to foster sustainability and resilience in agricultural production in Nigeria.
The project was targeted at seven states of the Federation to drive food security for a period of five years, 2018 to 2022.
The states are Kano, Adamawa, Benue, Gombe, Katsina, Jigawa and Nasarawa.
Mrs Helen Bum, a farmer from Benue State said she had benefited immensely from the partnership programme.
“I used to work on my farm without any guidance or technical help before the programme and I cannot say I achieved anything.
“Before now, farmers in my place lack farm inputs such as fertilizer and improved seeds but with the coming of UNDP, the programme has taught us techniques for transplanting rice and we have seen great results.
“The programme built an agricultural center and equipped it with solar powered borehole for processing farm produce.
“We were taught how to engage in bee-hive keeping and we have generated great income from it,” Bum said.
Mr Musa Likita, a farmer from Nasarawa State said before the programme was introduced to them, they cultivated their crops without spacing because there was no technical advice.
“We have little or no access to fertilizer, diseases and pests affected our yields.
“But since the programme was introduced, we have been given improved varieties of maize, rice and groundnut.
‘’I have harvested up to 40 bags per hectare as against the eight bags that I used to harvest.
“I will be going into commercial rice production as the harvest is too much for my family alone to consume,’’ Likita said.
Mr Idris Saleh, a farmer from Jigawa said he built his own house from the money he made from agriculture.
Saleh said he used to have challenges on his farm before the programme was introduced to him but after that, all the problems disappeared.
“Not knowing the right chemical to use and wrong fertilizer application was a problem but after the training, I learnt to do things the right way and I see results that am I happy with,” he said.