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AGRA unveils training programme for 300,000 maize farmers in Kaduna State

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Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a consortium of agriculture support organisations, has unveiled a resilience and capacity building programme for 300,000 smallholder farmers to accelerate maize production in Kaduna State.

AGRA Progrmme Officer in the state, Dr Esther Ibrahim, stated this at the inauguration of the training programme on Wednesday in Kaduna.

She said the programme would increase farmers’ productivity, and resilience and support them in responding to issues of climate change.

According to her, the programme is to transform the food system in Africa, particularly Nigeria which faced serious climate change challenges.

 

Participants of the training programme for building smallholder farmer resilience and reducing vulnerability in the maize-based systems in Kaduna State on Wednesday.

Ibrahim said the project would support 300,000 farmers in Kaduna state on crop value chain, especially maize, soybeans and tomatoes by strengthening their enterprising skills and market participation.

“The project is a consortium with other critical stakeholders along the value chain to provide expertise, market, finance and extension support. The overall aim is to ensure that Africa and Nigeria is able to feed themselves with quality food,” she said.

She said that AGRA relied on the performance of Kaduna government partnership with other organisations such as ‘Tomato Jos’ to create  enabling market for the produce.

Malam Ibrahim Husein, Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, said the consortium for maize value chain would favour the state agricultural production.

He said the state government has invited investors in agro-allied industries to boost agricultural development, adding that some investors had constructed fertiliser blending plants in the state.

“They have also carried out 35,000 soil tests suitable for different crops and produce maps for different value chain,” he said.

He described the programme as timely sequel to the Russian-Ukraine war that affected global grain production, especially wheat.

“About 40 per cent of wheat grown in the world comes from the northern states, and already Kaduna state has commenced bridging the grain deficit, I believed this programme will go along way in encouraging crop production,” he said.

The Commissioner lauded AGRA for the initiative and hoped that the programme would impact positively on small-holder farmers.

Also, Prof. Emmanuel Ikani, Executive-Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said the institute would continue to provide farmers with required knowledge on faming techniques to achieve higher yields.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AGRA is collaborating with NAERLS, Extension Africa, IITA, Premier Seeds and Pearl Mutual on implementation of agricultural interventions in Kaduna State.

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