Skills Outside School Foundation in partnership with and support from ACT Foundation, Access Bank, Bank of Agriculture and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the 5th – 10th February 2021 executed its Agropreneur Intervention program in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State for cassava and plantain farmers.
Farmers in Nigeria are faced with various challenges in their efforts to feeding an ever growing population to meeting rising demands which involve producing more foods on lesser acres to using less available farm lands and producing high and quality yields. Those challenges are summarized as lack of information, insufficient financial support, access to better fertilizers, market access, and transportation challenges among others.
Capitalizing on the gap in the agricultural sector, the SOSF Agropreneur Intervention came in response to the organization’s demands under its Headstart Program which focuses on providing training, mentoring, funding and advisory support program for entrepreneurs across sectors to start, sustain and scale their businesses.
The Agropreneur Intervention is focused on entrepreneurial clusters in the agriculture sector through community based groups and cooperatives with a goal to developing farming clusters that can achieve higher yields and support farmers to engage in value addition of high value raw agricultural produce.
Beneficiaries collectively receive technical and business skills training, funding and advisory services on production and access to markets.
The Rivers state Agropreneur intervention program took participants through:
Business Training: This session which had in attendance 246 participants was focused on increasing the business knowledge and skills of the farmers to help them further understand the business side of their farming and how to maximize profits from their yields. The farmers were taken through basic financial management and cash flow system.
Technical Training: Handled by facilitators from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), this session which had 133 participants was focused on training farmers on best agronomic practices in cassava farming, the correct use of Herbicides, soil fertility management and common pests and diseases that affect cassava.
Practical Training: where participants were trained on the proper use of Herbicides to maintain safety and effectiveness of the chemicals used.
The Skills Outside School Foundation is a not-for-profit registered in 2014 focusing on education, employability and entrepreneurship through its core pillars: data, interventions and advocacy.