Borno State government in collaboration with Victims Support Fund (VSF) has begun the training of 30 extension agents mostly victims of Boko Haram insurgency on dry season farming techniques to boost food production business in the State.
Speaking during the training session at ADP offiice in Maiduguri at the weekend, Commissioner of Agriculture, Bawu Ba Musami, said the state has recently faced a dry spell, which threatens food security in the North-East region.
He noted that the training would boost agricultural productivity especially the dry season farming, taken into cognisance that the training is knowledge-based.
According to him, the trainers will make sure that the farmers get the necessary guidelines on how to scale up food production because the trainees were carefully selected from Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza LGAs, based on the their commitment to farming, despite the security challenges in the areas.
The commissioner was represented by Alhaji Bukar Kolo, who said the trainees are cut across IDPs and vulnerable persons who are also farmers, saying “we all know that Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza farmers have experienced Boko Haram insurgency for almost 14 years now.
“We will ensure that the farmers at the local level get the desired knowledge and techniques.
“Borno state is a agrarian state which has a very fertile land, to this end our farmers need to have more knowledge on dry season farming which we believe will enable us to boost our food production.”
“The state government in collaboration with Victims Support Fund (VSF) are going to empower the trainees with improved seedings and some stipends to ensure that they have regain their livelihood again.
Also speaking, the Head of Programme for Victims Support Fund Headquarters, Mr. Shemiri Andre, said the training came up as a result of advocacy engagement with the Borno state government, the Victims Support Fund is currently running this program in nine Northern states.
“Dry farming is one of the priorities of Borno state government that is why in our collaboration we identified communities in Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza specifically Izge which considered as areas of dry farming targeting 3000 farmers who are mostly IDPs that were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The VSF will help them with equipment and seedlings in addition to scaling up of their skills in relation to dry farming techniques, the extension workers are people in the community they would also teach farmers on how to effectively achieve productivity in dry farming on order to ensure food security in Borno state.
On his part, the Acting Program Manager of Borno state agricultural development program, Darman Mohammed, the training was meant to build the capacity of the extension agents so that they would support the farmers in Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza (Izge) in order to boost dry season farming in the state with the help of Victims Support Fund.
“The target beneficiaries are the vulnerable farmers, mostly those who are displaced by the insurgency, the intervention is targeted at them so that they can regain their agricultural livelihood.
“Victims Support Fund has already prepared themselves to provide seeds, water pumps and necessary farm inputs in order to make dry farming to be effective in the state”.