No fewer than 12,000 rice farmers in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Kaduna are to benefit from an innovative application – Rice Advice App which has been introduced to 200 extension workers in Abuja and Kaduna.
The Rice Advice App is the initiative of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), a non-profit organization focused on women farmers in the country in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at a training on the Rice Advice app, the President of WOFAN, Hajia Salamatu Garba stated that the extension workers have been trained on the use of the App to advise farmers to enhance their performance and annual yield.
“With this app, they can measure the exact sizes of the farm and advise the farmers on the correct fertilizer application. The app is also useful for predictive analysis because it will be able to proffer information such as expected yields from farms and how farmers can leverage this to maximize profits,” Garba explained.
Also speaking at the event, the Program Lead, Agriculture for Mastercard Foundation in Nigeria, Lois Sankey said the training is aimed at building the savvy of the extension workers on the integration of technology and agriculture which is a testament to the Young Africa Works (YAW) strategy of The Foundation.
“Since the extension workers provide services to the farmers, it is important that their capacity to train the farmers in understanding the principles under the Rice Advice is consistently built. This is particularly important as we go into the dry season farming, so constant training is necessary to increase the extension workers’ capacity” Sankey said.
The WOFAN President noted that the extension workers were part of a total of 200 that are working with WOFAN in the four Northern states of Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa and FCT adding that they were the third batch to be trained. “We are working in the four states with the Mastercard Foundation. This project encompasses 45,000 farmers who will go back to their various farmers better equipped and more knowledgeable on twenty-first-century strategies of farming. Through this project, we are anticipating a new generation of farmers who will leverage technology to achieve great things”, she noted.