The Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) conducted a three-day training on knowledge-enhancing groundnut farming and profitability for extension workers, peer group leaders and marketers from five states of the country.
The state include; Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The WOFAN Executive Director, Hajia Salamatu Garba, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Garba said the training was organised by the group, in collaboration with International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to expose the trainees to modern approaches in groundnut farming.
Garba said the training focused on aflatoxin-free yields, as a strategic step towards improved marketability of their output to reclaim the status of groundnut produced in Nigeria and its acceptability within regional and global markets.
“Building of trainees’ capacity in the area of identification of common pests and diseases of groundnut; principle and management of pest and diseases of groundnut and management options for mitigating pests and diseases on groundnut production, amongst others.
“We decided to organise the groundnut farming training for the participants as part of our efforts to improve their agricultural practices, make their produce acceptable to buyers/offtakers locally and internationally and by doing so, increasing their incomes and enhancing their socioeconomic well being.”
She said the training introduced farmers to over 20 climate smart groundnut seed varieties suitable for each region of Nigeria and could be group during irrigation and raining with a maturity period of 90 to 120 days averagely.
“Each trainee is expected to step down the knowledge gained from the sessions to 60 farmers across the states and the FCT such that Nigeria’s groundnut becomes aflatoxin-free and healthier for consumers locally and internationally.
“From the practical perspective, participants in the training were exposed to how groundnut shelling machines are operated and how mechanisation can help to boost the quality of their yields and incomes.”
According to her, WOFAN is preparing to ensure that members of the group benefit from the mechanisation strategy of WOFAN using grounds shelling those shells 60 bags per hour.
Garba also said many of the farmers were set to diversify into rainy season and irrigation groundnut farming, adding that WOFAN would collaborate with ICRISAT and research institutions for climate smart improved seed varieties.
She noted that the farmers would be linked to off-takers and big marketers, insurance companies and financial institutions to increase groundnut farmers’ productivity and profitability.
She said for WOFAN to achieve this laudable goal and attract youths and women into meaningful farming systems in Nigeria, “We must be re-thinking agriculture to become ICT and Technology driven.”
NAN reports that the training was facilitated by stakeholders to build initiatives for smallholder farmers under the ICON of Hope project nationwide. (NAN)