Nutrition Activities in Northern Nigeria
Over 300 women and youth in Nigeria discovered recently that the humble, environment-friendly sorghum can be made into delicious products and, in the process, earn them a better income. These aspiring farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs were trying to make the most of a trend of rising demand for processed sorghum products. They found that training in sorghum production and processing techniques could give them an edge in income generation and employment. This training, conducted during 29 October–23 November 2018, began in Kano-Jigawa SCPZ and ended at Adani-Omor SCPZ. A total of 329 participants (155 male; 174 female) attended the training which also covered health issues as well as demonstration on storage, cleaning, drying and packaging of sorghum. The trainees learnt how to prepare processed sorghum products such as composite sorghum flour, kunu drink, sorghum noodles, popped sorghum, cookies, cakes, bread, doughnuts and crisps (with groundnut).
Catch them Young program in Nigeria
Tackling Nutrition, Climate change and Youth career development
Catch them Young Program focuses on school children with a farmers club, agribusiness training and creating Smart Food Ambassadors. 750 club members and ambassadors are already engaged in 11 girls and boys schools.
- Improved nutrition: A deeper understanding and engagement of a more nutritious and balanced diet, influencing households and leading to more sustainable healthy diets. Particular emphasis on functional foods like millets and vegetables.
- Career opportunities and economic empowerment: Core skills built for both farming and business with a wider range of career options made available for the youth from farming to food processing and marketing.
- New markets and business opportunities: Exposure to new product development especially with millets will open new markets and business opportunities for the youth that will spread wider than the geographic locality of the project work.
ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics)-Nigeria through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase One (ATASP-1) funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the African Development Bank (AfDB), have being engaging in promoting Youth participation in agricultural activities since 2017. These includes training in improved crop production technologies and processing of their produce for household nutrition and income generating activities. Selected schools Table 1) Secondary Schools in Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Kebbi, and Sokoto States were required to form Young Farmers Clubs coordinated by Agriculture Master/Mistress of the school. Members of the Young Farmers Clubs routinely receive trainings on improved production and post-harvest practices of sorghum as well as on Sorghum products development (table 1). This initiative is developed in order to catch the minds of the students and inculcate in them the idea of taking agriculture as a means of income generation and attaining a livelihood, as against what others feels it to be (tradition). The program started with the request made to the State Ministries of Education to nominate one boarding school each of male and female in the state to for demonstration of the program.
Table 1. Sorghum processing Products demonstrated among Secondary schools
|Description of Training
|Thinng and Fertilizer Application
|Safe use of Agrochemicals
|Sorghum Products Development
|Sorghum composite and plain flour
Members of Young Farmers Club (GGUSS, Gwaram) with their hand-on mixing sorghum flour for baking into cakes, bread and doughnuts
Members of Young Farmers Club left (GSS, Rano) and right (NAGSS, Kamba) in attendance during Sorghum farmers field days in Kano and Kebbi states respectively
Members of Young Farmers Club (GGUSS, Gwaram) with their hand-on boiling sorghum flour for pop sorghum making
Members of Young Farmers Club (GGUSS, Gwaram) left (on their Sorghum production field) and right (receiving a training on Sorghum plain and composite flour maling)