Ogun: Group trains 59,000 smallholder farmers, 2,000 agro-entrepreneurs 

For improved agricultural practice, over 59,000 smallholder farmers and 2,000 agro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria have been trained on innovative ways of farming.

This was made known by HortiNigeria Program’s Director, Mohammed Salasi Idris, while at the two-day learning workshop held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.

Idris disclosed that the Dutch-funded program aims is to increase the productivity and income of 60,000 smallholder farmers in Kaduna and Kano as well as pilot innovation with 2,000 entrepreneurial farmers in Ogun and Oyo state targeting 40 percent women and 50 percent youth at the end of 2025.

He added that the trainings on good agronomic practices provided to farmers have yielded an increase in production by 92% in the various vegetable crops the program works on.

Idris who was represented by Abdullahi Umar further explained that since the inception of the program other initiatives facilitated includes access to finance for MSMEs, improving sector coordination and business linkages.

“Since November 2021, HortiNigeria has launched several initiatives across ten value chains within the horticulture sector: cabbage, cucumber, okra, onions, pepper, sweetcorn, tomatoes, and watermelon”.

“As HortiNigeria moves into its last year of implementation in 2025, the program is set to expand its reach and continue its vital work in enhancing the capabilities of smallholder farmers, agro-entrepreneurs, financial institutions and other actors within the horticulture sector”, he said

Meanwhile, as part of the effort to pilot innovations, HortiNigeria is collaborating various Business Champions such as Soilless Farm Lab on biogas which promotes waste to wealth and launched a cold storage facility at the soilless farm lab.  

Farmers and other Value Chain actors during the learning workshop were also exposed to different sections of the Soilless Fam Lab at Awowo farm settlement to encourage them in innovative farming. 

HortiNigeria during its visit to Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,  Farm Hubs, showcased the solar irrigation pump and Best practices introduced promoting Eco-Efficient solutions.

Speaking during tours of Awowo and FUNAAB, a beneficiary from Ogun, Adetola Taiwo, appreciated HortiNigeria for its kind gesture and support to women and youth farmers.

She added that they had been exposed to best agro practices, thereby increasing their use of innovation and productivity.

Omolola Balogun, a beneficiary from Oyo State, said HortiNigeria had supported them in building capacity and assisted them with input technology, making it easier for farmers to farm all year round.

The program is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria and implemented by a consortium, including the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer (EWS-KT), Wageningen University & Research (WUR), and KIT Institute (KIT),  shared significant advancements in the Nigerian horticulture sector.