NGO Trains Kaduna State Farmers, Extension Agents On Financial Cycles

A Swiss-based NGO, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), has begun training of 200 farmers on financial cycles in Kaduna state.

The farmers were 50 each from Giwa, Kubau, Lere and Kauru LGA of Kaduna State where GAIN is carrying out some interventions.

The training is in collaboration with
a development partner, Promotion of Agricultural Finance for agri-based enterprises in rural areas (AgFin) under the Germany international Development Cooperation (GiZ) project.

The Project Manager, Biofortification of GAIN, Mr Lachang Faden, said on Thursday that the alliance wanted farmers to see their farming activities as business.

He explained that for the farmers to achieve their aims, they were trained on savings and mobilisation, record keeping and how to access loans, risk and insurance.

Faden added that with the training, GAIN envisaged the farmers to expand their production of vitamin enriched crops.

Speaking further, he said GAIN was implementing the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples (SNiPS) project, which had three components.

He said the training, which was under the biofortification component, was to enable farmers to transit a portion of their production to the nutrients enriched staples.

He said the biofortified staples were vitamin A maize and cassava, and orange fleshed sweet potatoes.

The project manager explained that the aim was to ensure the farmers cultivated and consumed the crops, to mitigate the problem of malnutrition affecting people, especially children from the ages of zero to five and old people.

He said GAIN worked with farmers in Oyo, Kaduna, Benue and Nasarawa states in Nigeria.

He, however, said in Kaduna state, they worked with 6,000 farmers alongside the vitamin A maize value chain, so they could transit a portion of their production to the high nutrients density Vitamin A maize variety.

The project manager equally said GAIN provided the farmers with the vitamin fortified maize seedlings and other productive inputs like herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer.

He added that they also trained the farmers on good agronomy practices and built the capacity of extension agents on how to plant, harvest, store and transport.

He urged the farmers to make use of the training positively to improve their farming productivity for their benefit and the nation at large.

Also, the resource person at the training, Emem Paul, said at the end of the exercise, the farmers were expected to be able to budget for their personal uses.

The trainees, being farmers, have one or two season of farming where the inflow of income is not regular like other businesses.

As such, the farmers have to plan for their farming activities save and keep record.

She added that the training taught the farmers how to access and leverage on loans to expand their farming activities and pay promptly.

“Before they collect loans, we emphasized to them on understanding its terms and conditions like interest rates and also knowing the criteria.

“They must know the amount they are seeking as loan for their business, because it is not a grant; they must pay, and therefore should know their capacity and capabilities.

“We also taught them the importance of insuring their farms because they are supposed to see their farming activities as business,” Paul said.

Some of the participants, Ishaq Haruna and Kauna John, said with the interventions of GAIN over the years, they recorded better yield in their farming activities.

The duo said before GAINS interventions, over the years they only cultivated what they ate with their families, but with the assistance of the NGO, they mow cultivated more than their consumption and took the rest to markets for monetary gains.

They thanked the NGO for the opportunity, while pledging to utilize the knowledge they gained in the training for the betterment of their farming activities and financial status.

NAN / Foluke Ibitomi

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