Year 2: WOFAN begins ICON2 project with onboarding of 500 new extension workers
Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) has flagged off the implementation of Year 2 of the WOFAN-ICON2 Project with the onboarding of 500 new Extension Workers (EWs) and distribution of 500 Android Tablets and Power Banks to the EWs for knowledge management.
SOLACEBASE reports that the Android Tablets, which will be used by the EWs to collect all Project implementation data, are preloaded with software that will aid crop production and processing as well as knowledge management by WOFAN and its partners during and after the implementation.
Speaking during the launch, the Chairman of WOFAN’s Technical Advisory Board, Professor Sani Miko informed the EWs that they are critical to the attainment of Nigeria’s food security targets because they are the ones who take capacity building from source to the farmers while supporting the farmers to adopt best practices for improved outputs.
In a remark, the Executive Director of WOFAN, Hajia Salamatu Garba, explained that the EWs will receive training on different areas of production, processing and enterprise development and their roles will be to mobilize smallholder youth farmers to form cooperative groups, training the farmers and support them with provision of extension services.
“To be successful, you must not make money your priority. Instead, you need to be passionate about working with farmers. If you have that passion and work hard, you will be successful. Money will come naturally”, she said.
The official launch of Year 2 was attended by stakeholders from across the agricultural value chain, including government, tertiary and research institutions, service providers, financial institutions, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. the occasion was chaired sector.
The WOFAN-ICON2 Project is a 5-year intervention funded by the Mastercard Foundation to enhance the quality of life and economic empowerment of 675,000 young small-scale farmers and agripreneurs and their families across nine states in Nigeria. The states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Project is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works (YAW) strategy which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, especially young women, to secure employment they see as dignified and fulfilling by 2030.
The new EWs will join the 500 EWs already working with community partners to increase the outreach to young smallholder farmers and processors from 225,000 onboarded in the first year to 450,000 by the end of Year 2 with each EW working with 450 community partners who will be supported to form groups of 30 members each.
Each of the EWs will also receive training on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP), ICT-led production technologies, improved processing technologies, financial literacy and linkages to markets, and waste-to-wealth management. The EWs will then go on to step down all the training to the community partners. They will follow up the training with effective and efficient extension service delivery, including demonstration of the application of inputs and use of labor-saving production and processing equipment to be provided for the community partners by the Project.