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Over 16,000 farmers benefit from $10m Canadian govt-funded agric project in Bauchi

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THE Canadian Government has concluded its 10 million CAD Dollars Livelihood and Nutritional Empowerment (LINE) project implemented by Oxfam in Bauchi State.

The project targeted 10,000 smallholder farmers but after the implementation, a total of 16,598 smallholder farmers were reached in 6 local governments in Bauchi State of which 60 per cent are women.

In his address, the Country Director of Oxfam, Dr. Vincent Ahonsi said “what we are having today is the closure of the government of Canada funded Livelihood and Nutrition Empowerment (LINE)”.

He said the project is funded by the government of Canada and it has been running for 6 years. Ahonsi said the project was originally set up to help 10,000 smallholder farmers in Bauchi state but incidentally they reached over 16,000 smallholder farmers that have been impacted by this project, out of which over 60 per cent of them are women farmers.

“The project has engaged in financial inclusion, which is setting up village savings and loans, associations and cooperatives by the people and we are also helping the people in Bauchi state on dry season farming. The project provided over 1400 boreholes as well as over 700 pumping machines to facilitate dry season farming in Bauchi state.

“The project agreement was signed between the Government of Canada and Oxfam on the 21st of March 2016, and the implementation was carried out in Bauchi State.

“Inadequate farm inputs, poor agricultural yields, food insecurity, lack of awareness of healthy food diversity for nutritional balance, and malnutrition were some of the challenges in the state.

“Reversing these hitherto inadequate agricultural inputs, high incidence of pests and diseases, low agricultural yields, and resultant food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty were the tasks that the LINE Project engaged in.

“To solve these problems the Oxfam-implemented LINE Project supported 16,598 small holder farmers, 60% of whom are women, in six (6) Local Government Areas of Tafawa Balewa, Alkaleri, Ningi, Darazo, Shira and Gamawa with dry season farming inputs including seedlings, fertilizers and herbicides.

“The project trained farmers on climate-smart agriculture, provided irrigation facilities which included 720 pumping machines and 1,400 boreholes to facilitate dry season farming”, he said.

A partner in the project, Hajaratu Pisagih of the Women Empowerment Initiative Bauchi state, said the project has touched the lives of women in the state.

She said before women were marginalized, but the project has made it possible for women to participate in decision making, they have farms of their own, the do dry season farming where they increase their productivity and gain a lot of resources for their families.

“They were also introduced to a savings scheme where they save their money, a woman who has never held N5000 of her own got about N300,000 after the savings and it put smiles on their families and the communities”, she stated.

A beneficiary, Fatima Amina said they now engage in dry season farming where Oxfam gave them a pumping machine for irrigation and they are getting more yield unlike wet season farming.

She also said Oxfam gave them economic trees to plant which is another way of fighting desertification. Amina said they were given seeds which they have been replicating, and they were linked to where they bought fertilizer at cheaper rate.

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The Head of Development Cooperation, High Commission of Canada to Nigeria, Djifa Ahado, said Global Affairs Canada applauds the collaboration the LINE project enjoyed from the Bauchi State and host local governments.

“This type of collaboration is key for the project implementation, but more importantly for the sustainability of results and impacts. In all projects we have here in Nigeria, this is the type of collaboration we are looking for in order to support self-reliance and continuously ensure the relevance of our projects for people, communities, local governments and states.

“The project monitoring visits conducted throughout the 7 years of the project revealed that about 90 percent of its expected outputs and outcomes were achieved”, he said.


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