Wageningen University & Research Visits EWS-KT Nigeria
KANO STATE, NIGERIA – A three-person team from EWS-KT longtime partner Wageningen University & Research (WUR) visited Nigeria this week as part of their involvement in the HortiNigeria and Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Market projects.
After a trip to the EWS-KT learning farm at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education in Kumbotso and participation in a HortiNigeria action research workshop, they set off on a field tour.
In Agalawa Gadama, they met Shukuran and his 21-year-old daughter Saadatu. Shukuran is a retired civil servant. He came in contact with the HortiNigeria intervention in a neighboring village and began to adopt EWS-KT practices because of his quest to learn farming techniques that were more effective than the local practices.
Shukuran then decided to give Saadatu, who saw agriculture as an inferior occupation, a piece of land to grow vegetables. With the help of EWS-KT Technical Field Officer Halima Habib, Saadatu learned how to grow cucumber and sweet corn using improved practices—and she changed her mind about farming.
At harvest time, she sold her produce and made good returns, using some of her profit to expand her production and some to contribute to her school fees. Her friends, seeing how her financial status had changed, have all come to learn improved methods for vegetable growing.
To see firsthand how our Technical Field Officers engage women and young people, the WUR team observed Halima Habib as she trained female farmers on fertilizer application and the importance of burying the fertilizer in the soil for proper nutrient absorption.
Next the WUR team traveled to Rimin Gado, where Technical Field Officer Babayaro Abdullahi carried out a practical training with a group of young male farmers on pest and disease control, using both chemicals and biopesticides (neem extract). The training was centered on how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) for personal safety during spraying.
“We are really fascinated with how Technical Field Officers handle trainings and how engaging it is with the farmers,” said one member of the WUR team.
After the training, the WUR team met with a farmer named Yahaya Alhassan, who is a cornerstone of the HortiNigeria project in Rimin Gado.
When the HortiNigeria intervention was first introduced in Rimin Gado, the people in the community were not interested in getting involved. So Technical Field Officer Babayaro Abdullahi met with the village head, who introduced him to Yahaya, a passionate 40-year-old farmer who was hungry for knowledge because he wanted to improve his livelihood.
Yahaya, who is also a youth leader, became a key farmer with EWS-KT because of the passion and curiosity he exhibited, and now he is a huge inspiration to the youth in the community. They have been watching him closely to see the outcome of the demonstration farms he has had in the last two crop cycles.
In the process, these youth have learned many new farming methods, and seeing the difference and ease of the modern techniques is changing their mindset about the local practices they are used to. Through the trainings they have attended, they have also learned important business planning skills like record keeping, reinvesting in their farm, estimating profit, and calculating return on investment (ROI).
We were proud to share our progress in Kano State with the WUR team and look forward to their next visit!