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Touring Vegetable Farming Impact in Kano, Nigeria

Posted On: February 21, 2024
Group of farmers and trainers.
During the field visit in Nigeria.

KANO STATE, NIGERIA — The East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT) team in Nigeria was excited to welcome several stakeholders for a field visit on 19 February in Kano state. Along for the tour were Mohammed Salasi Idris, HortiNigeria Program Director; Abdullahi Umar, HortiNigeria Component Lead on Sector Coordination and Business-to-Business Linkages; Stuart Morris, EWS-KT Director; Elijah Mwashayenyi, EWS-KT Head of Knowledge Transfer for Africa; Giridhar Raghavendran, and EWS-KT Senior Human Resources Business Partner.

These guests had the opportunity to engage with farmers participating in two different projects. HortiNigeria (2021–2025), which is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, is implemented through a consortium led by IFDC that includes EWS-KT, Wageningen University & Research, and KIT Royal Tropical Institute. Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets (2019–2024), which is funded by SDG Partnership Facility (SDGP) under the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), is implemented by EWS-KT in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry Kaduna State, Ahmadu Bello University, Wageningen University & Research, and Solidaridad Network West Africa.

Catalyzing Vegetable Production in Dawakin Kudu

The first stop was a Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets project location in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area (LGA). Following a formal welcome and introduction of the guests, Technical Field Officer Samira Abdullkarim explained the region’s primary crops and the rationale behind cabbage cultivation. Farmers in Dawakin Kudu are mostly involved in cereal farming, and for many, this is their first time planting vegetables.

Through this project, farmers like Tukur Ibrahim have been able to venture into vegetable production with astounding results. Tukur detailed the production process for the visitors, from seedling development to maturity, and highlighted the benefits of mulching and furrow irrigation—techniques he learned through this intervention. He also shared how he earned 15,000 naira just from selling pruned cabbage leaves, which are used to make a local dish called dambu. 

The assembled farmers said that they had never received agricultural training before, as government extension officers do not come here. They also said that they were surprised to see a woman coming to train them, but that she has trained them very well. 

Women Farmers Find Opportunities in Neem Products, Seedlings, and More

Before leaving Dawakin Kudu, the group heard from Elizabeth Alhamdu Madugu, a women’s facilitator under the Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets project. Elizabeth spoke about training local women in seedling cultivation and neem oil extraction. Gaining these skills enables women to start their own businesses and earn an income.

The tour then continued to the HortiNigeria-supported Ataimaki Mata Women Farmers Association in Tofa LGA, where the 110 women who belong to the association manufacture neem oil as a biopesticide. The leader, Maimuna Garba, shared their journey from tomato seedling cultivation to neem oil production and explained that neem oil’s byproducts are used as animal feed and mosquito repellent. The association also produces seedlings, and Maimuna highlighted their anticipation of rising cabbage prices, prompting them to quickly raise cabbage seedlings for sale.

HortiNigeria Director Mohammed Salasi Idris (right) is shown the stages of neem oil production, from neem seeds to bottled oil.

Moving on to a Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets location in Rimin Gado, the guests met the women of Kainuwa Limawa Women Association, who initiated a 500-seedling farm with their own funds. When they couldn’t find a market for the seedlings, they transplanted the seedlings themselves, with the guidance of women’s facilitator Fatima Sanusi. Each woman has her own plot on the farm, from which she can earn money. In fact, one of the youngest women was about to harvest her cabbages just as the prices in the market were rising. The guests commended the women’s group for their innovative approach and the diverse varieties they grow on the farm they rent together. 

Farm Business Planning and Tracking Profitability

At another Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets project location in Rimin Gado LGA, the visitors met a passionate tomato farmer named Abdullahi Adamu. His well-maintained, disease-free field showcased his dedication and the skills he learned from Technical Field Officer Auwal Belu. Abdullahi has beautifully demonstrated the benefits of trellising, hybrid seeds, and mulching, inspiring other farmers to follow suit.

The visitors ended their tour at a HortiNigeria location in Danshayi, where farmer Biliyaminu Liman became interested in vegetable production after seeing what his neighbor, a key farmer with the HortiNigeria project, was able to accomplish. With the help of his neighbor, Biliyaminu adopted improved vegetable farming practices on 1,300 square meters of land. He told the visitors that he also sells secondhand clothes, realizing about 200,000 naira monthly; venturing into vegetable production has likely doubled his income. Presenting his business plan, which he learned how to create from Technical Field Officer Abdullahi Babayaro, he is able to project his profit and has seen the importance of farm planning. He is very optimistic about continuing with modern vegetable farming, seeing that the practices will bring him better yields. 

This joint field visit offered numerous opportunities to engage with farmers in Kano state and see the impressive impact of the HortiNigeria and Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets projects firsthand.

Group of people in front of gates
Left to right: Yusuf Magaji, EWS-KT Nigeria Technical Specialist; Musa Shehu, EWS-KT Nigeria M&E and Data Analyst; Stuart Morris, EWS-KT Director; Dr. Miswaru Bello, Deputy Vice Chancellor of  Sa’adatu Rimi University of Education; Giridhar Raghavendran, EWS-KT Senior Human Resources Business Partner; Elijah Mwashayenyi, EWS-KT Head of Knowledge Transfer for Africa; Ruth Ardzard, EWS-KT Knowledge Transfer Manager for Nigeria; Abubakar Isyaku Doka, Team Lead for the Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets project in Kano; and Kandi Aliyu, Team Lead for the HortiNigeria project in Kano.