VSLA: OXFAM alleviating hunger and poverty in rural communities in Kebbi
With the increasing poverty rate and rural community vulnerability in Nigeria, OXFAM has taken measures to alleviate hunger and poverty as well as ensure food security in Adamawa and Kebbi States.
According to Usman Faleye, Governance and Influencing Coordinator of OXFAM, the Pro Resilience Action project (PROACT) by OXFAM, geared to improving food security and livelihood in Nigeria is a project of the European Union which is in collaboration with OXFAM and DEC in Kebbi State, have supported vulnerable smallholder farmers in the last 3years reaching over 20,000 households in Kebbi.
The PROACT project has supported smallholder farmers with livestocks, agricultural inputs, grains etc. alongside training of farmers on good agricultural practices and climate resilence through the project’s Farmers Field Training School. The project also formed Village Saving Loans Associations (VSLA) across the 3LGAs of interventions (Birnin Kebbi, Danko Wasagu and Jega).
Speaking with some of the beneficiaries of the project in Wasagu Katere during our on-the-spot-assessment media tour in Kebbi, Alhaji Haliru Alihu Wasagu, told our correspondent of the massive increase he has experienced in his farm since he began practicing the modern farming style taught by Oxfam.
Alhaji Haliru took our correspondent to his new 2¹/² hectare Sorghum farm in Wasagu of which he acquired through the help of the VSLA, stating that under the PROACT, he was given fertilisers and asked to pay half of the cost of the fertiliser and the balance after harvest.
He also said that the fertiliser comes handy and with great benefits such as learning modern ways of farming and applying fertilisers which has increased farm output. He said that since he started the modern farming style, he has harvested 20bags of maize against 10bags and he will be expecting not less than 40 to 50bags of sorghum.
The Extension Agent in Sarkin Kudu community of Danko Wasagu LGA, Mallam Yusuf Shehu Rikoto, also spoke with our correspondent on Oxfam training for farmers in the community.
According to him, one of the major trainings is the Agro Ecosystem Analysis (AESA) where farmers are trained to examine their farms regularly and handle problems noticed immediately.
He mentioned that farmers were also taught on how to space crops and how to apply fertilisers.
Mr Bedi Gobo, a trained farmer at the Farmer Training Field School explained that the Oxfam PROACT project is eye opening as they got to realise they were wasting resources and energy to cultivate lands for little output until the modern farming method.