By Bukola Adewumi
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Global Environment Facility (GEF), says it has trained 70 farmers on groundnut and rice farming in Kano State.
The training was in collaboration with the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN).
Ms Rhoda Dia, Project Manager, Resilient Food Security Project, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday, in Abuja.
Dia said the three-day training was to enhance the policy and institutional enabling environment, for achieving improved food security in a sustainable, resilient and value-chain driven manner.
She said that rice and groundnut were Africa’s economically and culturally most important food crops, and the production, regarded as the single most important economic activity in the region.
“The purpose is to practically train project beneficiaries on rice and groundnut processing techniques, in order to prepare farmers in Nigeria to face the unprecedented increase in competition at the domestic market.
“The outcome of this knowledge generation will in turn, support farmers and agribusiness processing agents, to generate wealth and attain increase in income from the processed products of rice and groundnuts,” she said.
According to her, it will also help improve local nutritional intake of the project community inhabitants, and assist community farmers curb post-harvest losses of several products that are traditionally disposed-off as waste.
“This training on post production rice and groundnut processing will further help participants learn about milling, best storage practices, and techniques to improve quality.
Mrs Comfort Anum, an Extension Agent from Benue, said that the training would assist farmers to improve the methods of processing rice and groundnut.
She also promised to step down the training to them, saying the methods taught by WOFAN were unique for rice parboiling, and that it would add value to farmers.
“Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to NAN, commended UNDP-GEF, for organising the training, aimed at helping farmers improve on their farming techniques.
Abigail Mamman, Gombe Agricultural Development Programme Gender Officer, said the training had improved her knowledge on rice parboiling and groundnuts processing.
“Our farmers have been processing, but the quality is not good enough. But with this training on the new method of parboiling, the quality of what they produce will improve greatly,” Mamman said.
Petuniya Kefas, Gender Focal Point Officer from Adamawa, said that the training had taught them how to use improved methods of rice and ground nuts processing, which was much better than the traditional methods they were using.
According to her, the new way of processing, when adopted by the farmers, will definitely improve their income because they will get patronage for the quality.
NAN reports that the UNDP-GEF-FGN-FS project, is in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), to implement a 5-year project to ensure food security in the country.
The project is being implemented in seven states in Savanna Zones, and 14 Local Governments, to enhance long-term sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Nigeria. (NAN)