Women Farmers Advanced Network (WOFAN), says it is partnering the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Zaria, to improve the capacity of its field workers on agricultural best practices.
Hajiya Salamatu Garba, the Executive Director of WOFAN made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Garba said staff capacity especially in the area of ICT would support women and youth farmers through technology application.
She said it would also enhance food production and processing along the entire value chain, to create employment opportunities.
According to her, the capacity building would equally expose the members of staff and farmers to the use of mobile phones and the social media to add value to their produce.
“It will aid groups to receive periodic extension and WhatsApp messages to build farmers’ good agricultural practices.
“This approach gives better understanding to the farmers, while adhering to the social distancing guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID 19,”she said.
She noted the importance of the use of applications for weather forecast, GPS for accurate farm size measurements, rice advice to provide adequate information on soil type.
“Others include the use of quantity of fertiliser and input as well as tips on various pests management.
“Moisture meters will also be used for correct moisture level of a maximum of 12 per cent moisture for crops before storage to reduce wastages,” she said.
According to her, hand-operated, labour-saving farming equipment such as hand-driven power tillers, threshers, transplanters, treadle irrigation pumps and harvesters will also be provided to the farmers for mechanised farming.
“The mechanisation helps in the reduction of the hardship of traditional farming that reduces farmers’ profit and unattractive vocation to both women and youth farmers.
“Demonstration of mechanisation of rice and groundnut production will be an integral part of the demonstration farms which will be established as part of The ICON of HOPE Project,” she said.
She said that the capacity building would further help farmers cut down their overhead farming costs and would be more profitable. (NAN)