A Non -Governmental Organization, (NGO), Young Men’s Christian Association Mada -Hill, has trained over 725 farmers on modern agricultural techniques and extension services in Nasarawa state this year 2019.
The farmers, who were drawn from Obi, Lafia and Nasarawa Eggon, local government councils of the state, were also provided with modern agricultural inputs, improved seeds and funds to ensure availability of food across the state.
The president of the association, Obadiah Joseph Anji stated this in an occasion marking the golden jubilee of YMCA-Mada Hills in Lafia said, “YMCA was able to access about twenty million into the project for this year, where about seven hundred and twenty-five (725) farmers have been trained in this regard.
According to him, they were able to achieve that through the collaborative effort of an international development Partner; EJW-Germany, who is the major sponsor of the scheme in the state, hoping to empower over 20,000 farmers in 16 communities by the end of the program in 2024.
Anji added the German partners are not only youth-driven in their development agenda, but they are also supporting the activities of YMCA in the north, which Mada-Hills is part of in the areas of health, agricultural, youth development and ICT.
He reiterated “we are in 16 communities, covering three local government areas; Lafia, Obi and Nasarawa-Eggon are hosting YMCA with the aim to create and impact knowledge on rural agriculturists to know the modern farming techniques.
” We are targeting to train over 20,000 farmers from these 16 communities, and hoping to achieve that target in the next three years.”
Anji said, after series of evaluation, where farmers were been trained, “we discovered that, what we are not very effective, so we decided that the agricultural extension services will make more serious impact on the community, because they used to go to them and mobilize them where they are and train them”.
He pointed out that, YMCA has established an Agriculture Training Center aimed at training farmers with a view to ensuring food sufficiency and security in the state.
“The training centre is located in Ikposogye in Obi Local Government Area of the state, where farmers are currently receiving training on modern agricultural techniques, through extension services with the view to produce variety of food crops in the state, and we are able to achieve this target of our work with them within the next three years.
“To fast track this process, the EJW gave us a tractor, modern farming advice, a variety of seedlings to support these farmers in the rural areas.”
He maintained that with the support of the German partners, farmers benefiting from their programs now purchase fertilizer at government price to grow their crops.
“But in the near future, we intend to discourage the use of chemical fertilizer. We will encourage them to embark on the use of none chemical fertilizer, which is the manual”, he added.
He, however, called on the government to support them by a way of providing adequate security to farmers in order to have food sufficiency in the state and nation at large.
The association however gathered to celebrate 50 years of God’ faithfulness, touching lives of the less privileged especially women and children living in rural areas of the state.