As part of efforts to boost yield per hectare (ha), create wealth and income for farmers, the Kano State government, through its Kano State Agropastoral Project (KSADP) and Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), has started distributing farm inputs to farmers across the 44 local government areas of the state.
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), is an international agricultural development non-governmental organisation that is registered in Geneva, Switzerland, which was co-founded in 1986 by the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug; Japanese philanthropist, Ryoichi Sasakawa of Nippon Foundation; and former United States President, Jimmy Carter. The organisation is committed to establishing agricultural programmes in the Sub-Saharan African countries. Speaking at the week-long exercise, the Country Director of Sasakawa Africa Association, Dr. Godwin Atser, explained that SAA as a technical partner to the KSADP project would continue to support the government’s efforts to enhance agricultural productivity and competitiveness.
This is done through increased access to inputs, extension service delivery, value addition and agribusiness development. The majority of the problems smallholder farmers in the state face are being addressed by SAA, according to the Project Coordinator for KSADP/SAA, Comrade Abdulrasheed Kofarmata. This is done by bolstering agricultural extension services and providing pre-and post-emergence herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides, as well as training and improved high-yielding, disease and drought-resistant seed varieties.
He stressed that for the 2023 wet season, SAA/KSADP would establish a total of 690 clusters of demonstration plots to showcase Good Agronomic Practices (GAPs) and 192 Community-Based Seed Multiplication plots across 44 LGAs of the state, to serve as farmer-learning platforms in local communities during on and off-farming seasons, to serve as farmer learning platforms (FLPs), to promote the adoption of new farming technologies and to increase crop productivity. According to him, farm inputs worth over N100 million, including improved high-yielding, disease and drought-resistant seed varieties of upland and low land rice, maize, sorghum, millet, soybeans and groundnuts; various pre-and post-emergence herbicides, fungicides and pesticides, organic fertilisers for both maize and rice production to improve soil fertility for the optimum performance of target crops, are being distributed to beneficiaries through the extension agents.
He stated that with the KSADP in its third year of implementation, SAA was steadily improving the food, nutrition and income security of smallholder farmers in the State. The Project Coordinator acknowledged that, through the SAA’s co-innovation concept, which entails Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Packaging, Knowledge Transfer and Adoption, which are being implemented with the participation of target farmers and value chain actors, improved agricultural technologies and practices have been tailored to match the needs of smallholder farmers in the state.
The State Programme Coordinator, Mr. Ibrahim Garba lauded SAA for delivering the inputs ahead of the planting season, while also encouraging farmers to use them efficiently. Similarly, the Katsina State Government, in collaboration with the 34 local government areas in the state has supported 272 graduates with agricultural inputs to become self-reliant through the FADAMA Graduate Unemployed Youth Support (FADAMA GUYS) programme. The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Bazariye, who was at the training ground of the exercise, revealed that the programme was funded by the World Bank with 251 unemployed graduates converted into Agri-preneurs alongside some selected agricultural value chains. FADAMAGUYS programme is a World Bank project, supported by the federal and state governments with the aim to introduce a pool of unemployed graduate youth and women to new agribusiness ideas, thereby leveraging their energy, motivation, and passion. Beneficiaries, which included women, were also trained on selected agricultural enterprises, with requisite skills to operate successfully.