Project strategies for sorghum and pearl millet in Nigeria sketched out
Sorghum and pearl millet are important crops that can increase incomes and enhance livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Nigeria. Promoting the right varieties and production technologies in addition to creating linkages between producers and processors is crucial for this.
A research and development strategy for sorghum and pearl millet in Nigeria was drafted during a workshop of the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) of Sorghum and Millets project held in Kano,
Nigeria, on 5 December.
The workshop was
organized by project partners (Nigerian institutions and ICRISAT) to share and exchange implementation experiences, lessons learnt, plan for the future and standardize reporting format. One of its sessions was devoted to discussions with processing companies on ways of networking with farmers to supply quality grains to help both parties increase their income and improve farmer’s livelihoods. The project has promoted varieties and production technologies of sorghum and pearl millet through mini-pack distribution and demonstrations. It has also boosted the productivity of women processors by
introducing modern small-scale processing technologies and linkages to farmers.
Welcoming the gathering, ICRISAT country representative Hakeem Ajeigbe outlined the project’s achievements and mentioned that over 6000 copies of the “Fighting Striga” DVD (with 10 modules) had been distributed to individual farmers, farmer groups and extension partners. He thanked the partners, especially the
representative of Lifecare Ventures, who had travelled over 1000 km to attend the meeting.
The participants were split into two groups to deliberate on the country strategies for sorghum
and millet. Based on the groups’ reports, recommendations were made on finalizing the draft documents assigning responsibilities to individuals. Dr CT Hash was assigned to collate inputs for the strategy on millet, while DrAjeigbe will do the same for sorghum. It was agreed that the way forward lay in strengthening the partnership into an innovation platform and that linkages be made between producers and processors with developmental partners as initial brokers.
The workshop was attended by 15 participants from the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI), Community Based Agricultural and Rural Development Project (CBARDP), processing companies (Celsian mills Ltd, Gumel; Dala Foods Ltd, Kano; and Lifecare Ventures, Ota, Ogun State) and ICRISAT.