Borno State Government, VSF Commence Training of Extension Agents for Dry Season Farming

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Borno State government, in collaboration with the Victims Support Fund (VSF), has begun training 30 extension agents, most of whom are victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, on dry season farming techniques to boost the food production business in the state.

Speaking during the training session at the ADP office in Maiduguri over the weekend, the 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 in dry season farming, taking into consideration that the training is knowledge-based.

According to him, the trainers will ensure that the farmers receive the necessary guidelines on how to scale up food production. The trainees were carefully selected from Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza LGAs based on their commitment to farming, despite the security challenges in the areas.

The commissioner was represented by Alhaji Bukar Kolo, who stated that the trainees are from IDP camps and vulnerable communities, also engaged in farming. He mentioned, ‘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 acquire the desired knowledge and techniques.

“Borno state is an agrarian state with very fertile land. Therefore, our farmers need more knowledge on dry season farming, which we believe will enable us to boost our food production.”

“The state government, in collaboration with the Victims Support Fund (VSF), is going to empower the trainees with improved seeds and stipends to help them regain their livelihoods.

Also speaking, the Head of Programme for Victims Support Fund Headquarters, Mr. Shemiri Andre, mentioned that the training resulted from advocacy engagements with the Borno state government. The Victims Support Fund is currently running this program in nine Northern states.

“Dry farming is a priority for the Borno state government. That’s why in our collaboration, we identified communities in Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza, specifically Izge, as areas for dry farming. We’re targeting 3000 farmers, most of whom are IDPs displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The VSF will assist them with equipment and seedlings, along with enhancing their skills in dry farming techniques. The extension workers from the community will also teach farmers how to effectively achieve productivity in dry farming to ensure food security in Borno state.

On his part, the Acting Program Manager of Borno state agricultural development program, Darman Mohammed, mentioned that the training aimed to build the capacity of the extension agents to support farmers in Ngamboru Ngala and Gwoza (Izge) to boost dry season farming in the state with the help of the Victims Support Fund.

“The target beneficiaries are vulnerable farmers, mostly those displaced by the insurgency. The intervention is focused on them to help regain their agricultural livelihoods.

“Victims Support Fund has already prepared to provide seeds, water pumps, and necessary farm inputs to make dry farming effective in the state.

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