NIGERIA – The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) has launched 13 Farmers’ Hubs to offer support service to 13,000 sorghum and cowpea farmers in Kano and Jigawa States, Nigeria.

The hubs are an integral component of the operational strategy of SFSA in Nigeria to boost crop productivity while facilitating linkages with different markets.

Further to that, it is part of the implementation of the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) Project in Nigeria.

According to reports by Africa Business Communities, the initiative is in response to survey findings on low farm yields attributed to difficult access to quality seeds, inputs and adulterated agro-chemicals (including adulterated fertilizers) in Northern Nigeria.

Given the long distances many farmers have to travel to find quality input supply stores and markets, the hubs will also serve as sales points for farm produce.

Nigeria accounts for 71% of West Africa’s sorghum output while 46% of Africa’s cow-peas production

They will also facilitate access to weather information and provide hands-on training and link AVISA partners in Nigeria to extension services of NGOs and the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs).

The decision to construct the hubs was based on findings from many adoption and value chain studies jointly carried out by ICRISAT and national partners in Northern Nigeria.

The global agricultural company, has chosen to boost the production of two of the most significant crops in Nigeria. According to FAO Nigeria is the largest producer of sorghum in West Africa accounting for about 71% of the total regional output. Statista further highlights that production of the crop in the country grew by 3.53 percent in 2020, compared to the previous year, amounting to almost seven million metric tons.

Meanwhile IITA highlights that more than 7.4 million tons of dried cow-peas are produced worldwide, with Africa producing nearly 7.1 million. Nigeria, the largest producer and consumer, accounts for 48% of production in Africa and 46% worldwide.

SFSA will continue to provide technical back-stopping and mobilize same from national and international research institutes such as the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and ICRISAT.

Recently, Syngenta Crop Protection partnered with WACOT Limited, leading food and agro-processing company in West Africa, to boost Nigeria’s food security and ensure sustainable development of the agriculture sector.

The collaboration set to run for five years, will build Nigeria’s agriculture sector with world-class science and innovative crop solutions.

In a bid to reach the farmers, the initiative will leverage on WACOT Limited’s wide network as it operates in all 36 states in Nigeria and undertakes production of rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, cocoa, spices, sesame, cotton and vegetables, etc. throughout-growers’ schemes.

Through this, Syngenta would collaborate with farmers and others to sustainably improve the most important factor in agriculture – yield.

This will take the form of WACOT supporting the Nigerian farmer on cost-effective agronomic practices, advanced crop protection methods through the usage of yield enhancement products and biological compounds to consolidate the growth of the agriculture sector in the country.

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