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HortiNigeria Expands Opportunities for Women Farmers

Posted On: April 12, 2024
Uwandiya Alhaji and her daughter smile broadly as they hold up tomatoes from Uwandiya's harvest.
Uwandiya Alhaji (right) celebrates the tomato harvest with her daughter.

Uwandiya Alhaji, a resilient 40-year-old woman from Kano state, Nigeria, shared her transformative journey as a farmer participating in the HortiNigeria program. HortiNigeria is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria and implemented through a consortium led by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) that includes East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, Wageningen University & Research, and KIT Royal Tropical Institute.

Initially hesitant to join the HortiNigeria program, Uwandiya embraced the role of a key farmer in the program with the encouragement of other women in her community. Key farmers work closely with an expert trainer, who helps them establish a vegetable plot utilizing improved agricultural methods and then guides them through every stage of the crop cycle.

Choosing tomato as her first crop, Uwandiya learned how to produce healthy tomato seedlings and prepare the land. However, she faced challenges with drought during the transplanting phase. Undeterred, she irrigated her vegetable plot diligently and managed all the tasks needed as the plants grew. Despite skepticism from some of her neighbors, Uwandiya’s demonstration farm turned into a community showcase as she took Good Agricultural Practices to heart, implementing them in her field.

Harvest time brought joy, surprising everyone with the impressive yield. The abundant tomatoes from her first season with HortiNigeria led to profits that exceeded Uwandiya’s expectations. Proud of her success, she used her earnings to purchase a sewing machine for her daughter, settle land payments, clear debts, and support her family.

Uwandiya expresses deep gratitude to the HortiNigeria program for believing in the potential of women in her community. Her story is not just about farming but stands as a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of knowledge and opportunity.

Uwandiya Alhaji and her daughter stand behind a new sewing machine on a table.
Uwandiya Alhaji (left) and her daughter, with the sewing machine Uwandiya purchased with her earnings.
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