About 10,000 women farmers in Kaduna, Benue, Kano, Katsina and Niger states will, within two years, gain access to quality inputs for maize and rice as part of the Value Seed-Master Card Foundation’s COVID-19 recovery and resilience intervention.
Speaking at the launch, Wednesday, in Kaduna, the Project Lead, Value Seed Limited, George Kabutha, said women between the ages of 20 to 60 as well as youth between 18 to 35 years will benefit from the two-year intervention.
He also said the programme is expected to significantly increase the volume of premium maize and rice grains in the market by about 450,000 tonnes.
“It will also create direct jobs in the crop value chain, including input dealers, farm labourers, transporters, logistic officers, marketers’ off-takers, feed millers and staff in the agro-processing industry.”
The Country Head, Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson said, “The goal of the project is in alignment with the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience programme, which focuses on the provision of direct support to companies in the agricultural value chain, specifically to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to markets and to maintain food security.”
A farmer from Makarfi LGA, Amina Micah, said she has benefited from the training.
“In the past, I used to lose a huge portion of my farm because I did not have the technological know-how, but since I started relating with the company, their counselling and seedlings have helped my farm grow to the extent that I have become an employer of labour,” she said.