By Samuel Luka, Bauchi
The African Union Development Agency and New Partnership for Africa’s Development ( AUDA-NEPAD) is to spend N4.2 billion in building the capacity of 5,400 small holder farmers in Bauchi state.
The Bauchi state Director General of the SDGs/ State Coordinator and Focal Person,
Dr. Esther Ahmed made this known during the flag-off ceremony of the Capacity Building Training For Innovative Strengthening of Small-Holder Farmers at the Command Guest Inn Bauchi on Monday.
“Four Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty Naira (N4,298,175,660.00) has been set aside for the project in its first year”, she said.
Dr. Esther who noted that the project is expected to run for a period of ten years, added that a total number of 5,400 small holder farmers would benefit in the first year of the project, with 2,895 males, representing 53.61% and 2,505 females representing 46.39%.
Our Corresspondent gathered that the training is meant to build Capabilities of small holder farmers towards productive land restoration amid COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Dr. Esther further explained that AUDA-NEPAD is a socio-economic flagship programme of the African Union has four primary objectives of eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable growth and development, integrating Africa and the world economy as well as accelerate the empowerment of women.
The Bauchi state Director General of the SDGs/ State Coordinator and Focal Person stated that Bauchi State was selected as one of the twenty pilot States for the project having met all the criteria set by AUDA-NEPAD for eligibility to participate in the programme.
She said that the state has made provision in her 2022 budget which covered counterpart contribution/consultancy as well as monitoring and evaluation.
According to Dr. Esther, a written acceptance letter to participate in the project with evidence-based documentation on land availability, evidence of commitment of funds has been received from the State Government as personally signed by Governor Bala Mohammed of the state due to his commitment to the success of the project.
Dr. Esther who further explained that 10 percent of the total beneficiaries would Persons with Disabilities, noted that Bauchi has earmarked 2,400 hactres of land for the project in three (3) senatorial districts of the State with three (3) LGAs each that are expected to participate in the project in the cluster farming.
She said 1,200 beneficiaries have been pencilled down for drip irrigation (dry season), while 1,800 beneficiaries for rain-fed farming.
“Also, 600 beneficiaries mostly women and persons with disabilities are for green house farming with 60 green houses to be constructed in all the 20 LGAs”, Dr. Esther said.
“A total of 1,800 beneficiaries mostly women and PWDs will benefit on livestock husbandry production with women having 1,620 beneficiaries which represent 90%, while 180 will be for the People Living with Disability (PLWD) representing 10%.”, The state AUDA-NEPAD Coordinator explained.
She said Crops meant for the project were selected based on their comparative advantage in the twenty LGAs earmarked for the intervention, which include vegetables (tomato, onion, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber etc.) while for cereals/legumes are wheat, rice, millet, sesame, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut etc.
Dr. Esther said the project is in line with objectives of mitigating the devasting effect of covid-19 on small-holder farmers in Africa.