To empower 60,000 farmers
Despite being ranked first in terms of percentage of total hectares under cultivation, Nigeria’s contribution to total global output of ginger is low when compared to other countries as a result of the country’s reliance on smallholder farmers’ old traditional production techniques.
To this end, Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with Agrolog General Services Limited (AGSL), is set to change the status quo as both platforms plan to empower 60,000 smallholder farmers to boost the production of ginger in the country in addition to improving yields of ginger from 18 metric tonnes per hectare (MT/ha) to 25MT/ha,
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Manzo Maigari, managing director, Agrolog Limited, explained that the intervention would create 60,000 on-and-off-the-farm jobs that will benefit the farmers and their communities by providing economic recovery, growth, and social stability.
The partnership between both companies is also expected to unlock a multitude of benefits to farmers and the farming community, including mechanization, training and capacity building, farm mapping, standardization of measures, increased yields, improved processing, access to organized markets, and financial inclusion, Maigari explained.
He explained that the opportunity is designed to help smallholder farmers that belong to existing organised cooperatives participate in the initiative, and added that selected farmers will receive support ranging from training to farming implements that they could immediately use on their farms to cultivate ginger and food crops.
He said, “The ginger value chain, if well harnessed, can transform livelihoods. Ginger products such as ginger spices, powder, oil, medicine, tea, and tonic confectioneries hold massive opportunities for smallholder farmers, young people, and women across the entire value chain. From planting, harvesting, cleaning, cutting, processing, bagging, storage, and sales, this initiative offers a ray of hope to thousands of families in their local communities who have been further paralysed by the pandemic. Now, they will be able to rely on a steady and sustainable income stream through ginger farming and processing.”
Chidinma Lawanson, country head, Mastercard Foundation, on her part said the partnership with AGSL is poised to drive immense production of ginger and create work opportunities for youth across the ginger value chain as she also stressed that the collaboration will alleviate the impending threat to food security and livelihoods, which has worsened with the ongoing pandemic.
Lawanson said, “The intervention is being supported through the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, which is targeted at offering timely support to mitigate the impending economic crises among the vulnerable indigenous communities. The intervention is also aimed at averting further disruptions to the ginger supply chain because of the COVID-19pandemic.”
Lauding the partnership between Mastercard and AGSL, Kakuta Irimiah, a beneficiary, said the fertilizers and farm inputs they provided is to expand her business.
She said, “The Agrolog fertilizer I received helped me to produce more bags of ginger. I used to produce 30 bags per hectare and now I produce between 50 to 100 bags. I have also received training on how to apply the fertilizers and how to construct drainages to prevent my farm from being washed away by erosion. Before this time, the colour of my produce was yellowish but now, it is greenish which is a sign of healthy and quality produce.”