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The government of Bauchi teaches fifty women farmers in fonio farming




50 women farmers in Bauchi State have been trained and equipped in fonio farming for sustainability and self-reliance while creating job opportunities.

The women farmers were trained by a Bauchi-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as the Al-Muhibah Foundation, a pet project of Bauchi State First Lady Aisha Bala Mohammed.

The founder of the foundation, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed, while speaking at the end of the training for the women on Sunday, explained that the project was funded by the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and aimed at empowering women in the area of farming locally, called Acha.

She further explained that 25 women were selected from Alkaleri and 25 from Tafawa Balewa local government areas of the state, respectively.

The First Lady also said that the decision to settle for fonio farming training was a result of its nutritional value, adding that Bauchi State was among the states facing malnutrition problems due to a lack of adequate nutrition for children.

According to her, “It is on this basis that, looking at the nutritional value of Acha fonio, there are opportunities for helping to reduce the cases of or curb severe malnutrition.”

The First Lady added that “we also key into the Islamic Development Bank policy to learn how to empower women through interventions that improve health, food security, economic opportunities, education, and access to technology, which would enhance women’s financial literacy and business skills.”

“Today, the 50 women farmers have received farming tools, insecticides, fertilisers, farmland, seedlings, capacity-building training, and 20 water pumping machines from each of the two LGAs,” she said.

The Governor’s Wife further explained that the project was to also ensure that the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of the Fonio-Acha value chains were sustained, developed, and expanded in the two benefiting LGAs by empowering women groups in the local production of the crop.

Earlier, the Finance and Administration Officer of the Foundation, Mr Stephen Goyit, explained that ISDB sponsored 70 per cent and the Al-Muhibah Foundation sponsored 30 per cent of the project.

He then said that based on the project design, the 40 water pumping machines and accessories were distributed to the women farmers in a cluster for easy monitoring.

Stephen Goyit added that a total sum of N30,000 was given to each of the beneficiaries for feeding and transportation allowances.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Grace Yohana, who expressed happiness to have received the training, appreciated the Al-Muhibah Foundation for the ‘kind gesture’.

I’m very happy about this intervention. They gave us N30,000; we learned many things about fonio farming, and the state ministry of agriculture has also promised to give each of us one bag of fertiliser,” she said.

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