Isaac Ishaya Audu, Project Manager, CASCADE, Bauchi CARE office. Photo: Murtala Muhammad
By Murtala Muhammad
Corporative Assistance for Relief Everywhere (CARE) International Nigeria has commenced a five-day Training of Trainers (ToT) on Farmer Fields and Business School (FFBS) approach for participants from Bauchi, Jigawa, Kebbi and Nassarawa states.
CARE and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are implementing the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded CAtalyzing Strengthened policy aCtion for heAlthy Diets and resiliencE (CASCADE) project in Nigeria.
In an interview with journalists, the Project Manager of CASCADE, CARE Nigeria office in Bauchi state, Isaac Ishaya Audu said the project aims to strengthen nutrition systems that contribute to ending malnutrition for 1.1 million women of reproductive age and children under the age of five.
This according to Audu, would be done to mitigate the Farmer-Extension Ratio gap by providing community level structures through lead farmers that would be supported with adequate skill and capacity to complement the work of government extension providers.
He stated that the programme was prioritizing empowering women, who were contributing immensely in food production and wealth creation, as well as strengthening effort for nutrition-sensitive agriculture to address severe acute malnutrition.
The Project Manager said the training would also provide the participants the needed information and skills to engage women directly towards strengthening production system and processing activities of farm related engagement.
He explained that the training would specifically provide the participants the required skills to improve on farm agri-business, processing and food recipe opportunities for women and girls to leverage on at household level to improve nutrition services.
On his part, Mr Joshua Chibuyi, CASCADE based in the CARE Netherlands office, said the project has a multi-sectoral approach working with the Federal, States and local governments in Nigeria and it has community driven approach which seeks to address their needs.
The President, Association of Deans of Agriculture in Nigerian Universities (ADAN), Professor Olumuyiwa James Jayeoba expressed readiness of the Academia to understudy the methodology of the project with the aim to stepping it down into the undergraduate curriculum.
Professor Jayeoba said the training was a welcome development in view of the fact that the FFBS approach was a good concept that would develop farmers and make agriculture attractive as well as enterprising.
In Nigeria, the five year CASCADE project is being implemented by CARE and GAIN in sixteen Local Government Areas, four in each of the four benefiting states of Bauchi, which has Dass, Ganjuwa, Jama’are and Toro LGAs, while Jigawa has Jahun, Kafin Hausa, Kiyawa and Ringim LGAs.
Kebbi state, has Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Fakai and Suru LGAs, and Nasarawa state having Akwanga, Awe, Keana, Lafia LGAs.
Our Correspondent reports that CASCADE as an intervention is working closely with government actors and identified three existing policies, specifically National Policy on Food and Nutrition, National Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition as well as the National Social Protection Policy to leverage on.
The training drew nine participants from each of the four implementing states, five Agric Professors as observers and eight CARE and GAIN staff.