Unique ways of promoting sorghum through programs to sensitize school children and radio talk shows to link actors along the sorghum value chain were carried out alongside activities to prepare farmers for the 2017 cropping season in Nigeria.
The activities encompassed much of the sorghum value chain from distribution of quality seed to farmers and linkages with seed companies and seed producers to developing entrepreneurship among women and youth.
The target regions were the four Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) of Adani-Omor, Bida-Badeggi, Kano-Jigawa and Kebbi-Sokoto.
Equipping farmers for the cropping seasonSetting up sorghum demonstration plots
435 Plots for 120 communities in 126 Local Government Areas in 6 states
Sensitizing school children
Radio talk shows
Sensitizing school children
Radio talk shows
Linkage with offtakers
Production of sorghum seed was done in collaboration with:
- Three seed companies: Tecni Seeds Ltd, Inspire Agric Genetics Ltd, and Green Pal Global Ltd.
- Institute of Agricultural Research–Zaria
- Outgrowers including the Youth Agripreneur
Agreement in the pipeline:
- Delfarm Projects Ltd, Adani-omor SCPZ, has:
- An offtaker with a capacity for handling 1,000 tons annually
- Will allocate 80 ha for sorghum during the 2017 rainy season
ICRISAT will provide:
- Foundation seed of SK5912 to plant 1 to 2 ha
- Technical support for proper management
Trainings on seed production and seed entrepreneurship
Special focus on women and youth
Shortage of quality seed led to the development of this strategic plan to ensure production and diffusion of improved quality sorghum seed
26 women groups with 577 members from Kano-Jigawa SCPZ were supported with 208 kg of seed of improved variety of Sorghum (CSR-01) to plant on a 26 ha plot and produce about 46.8 t of grain in the 2017 cropping season.
132 youths from Kano-Jigawa, Kebbi-Sokoto and Bida-Badeggi SCPZs were trained and linked to seed companies to make their venture profitable; 8 kg of foundation seed (for 1 ha plot) was provided to each of them
31 youths from Kano-Jigawa SCPZ were trained and supported with 240 kg seed of CSR-01
70 members of the Ajingi Development Association, a self-help youth organization, were trained and provided
60 kg of improved seed.
Linkages with agro-dealers
- Two agro-input dealers from each of the 23 participating LGAs were selected
- To establish meaningful business relationships they attended the training of EAs and lead farmers
- They will be regularly updated on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as well as linkages to seed and other input companies.
- They are expected to sell basic inputs, like seeds and crop protection chemicals as well as offer advisory services to the farmers in the participating communities.
Effective project management
Workshops and trainings
Workshops with stakeholders and National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) partners on improved sorghum husbandry and capacity enhancement/pre-season training of farmers, EAs and field technicians were conducted.
Training courses on financial management and effective Monitoring and Evaluation were held for the project staff.
Plans for Adani-Omor SCPZ
Technical training: This is for lead farmers and EAs on good agronomic practices (GAP) and post-harvest losses.
Food processing and product development: Women/youth groups will be trained with special emphasis on food fortification and nutritional benefits.
Mechanization of farms: Small-scale equipment like hand-planter, multi-thresher, etc., will be introduced for reduction in drudgery, job creation and income generation.
Learnings from the 2016 season:
The outstanding performance of market-preferred varieties of sorghum encouraged farmers to invest in its production.
Commercial seed sales and linkages with agro-dealers were low
Need for enhancing the technical knowledge of agro-dealers
- Striga infestation was a major concern in some locations
- Early-maturing sorghum varieties in some areas were damaged by birds
- Farmers were keen on linkages that facilitated quick access to fertilizers, tractor hiring services and agro-chemicals at reasonable prices
- Small land holdings in many parts of Kware LGAs of Sokoto State affected the size of demonstration plots
- Stalk sweetness of sorghum variety ICSV 111 presented problems in the form of people cutting the crop indiscriminately for chewing the stalks
- An interesting development is that some farmers grew the ICSV 111 variety in the fadama (irrigable) areas during the dry season
- Tremendous opportunity exists for use of Internet Service Providers for mobile application connectivity (GSM) for outreach activities. E.g. Globacom and Etisalat close user group (CUG).
- Banks and other NGOs (MANOBI Corporation) are willing to partner if markets and good infrastructure exist.
- Collaboration with the private sector and using a market-oriented approach will increase the confidence of farmers.
- Northern Nigeria Flour Mills PLC, Kano, commissioned a new sorghum mill on 18 July. This will increase the offtakers capacity.
These issues were discussed at a review and planning meeting that had an impressive attendance of all farmers and LGA officials of the regions.