- Membership grew from 1,700 to 22,000 farmers in five years in Kano State
- Guaranteed Min. price of N14,000 (USD 40) and a 100% produce offtake agreed with the Millers Association of Nigera.
- Anchor Borrowing scheme with CBN of up to N220,000 (USD 564) for a package comprising seed, fertilizer, herbicides and a water pump.
- Jump in number of registered women farmers from 220 to 2,040.
Farouk Rabiu Mudi is the chairperson of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria in Kano State. Previously an agricultural technician with the Government, he took early retirement three years ago to concentrate on farming. We interviewed him on 29th of Nov. 2016 on the impact of SARD-SC and below is the interview in his own words.
As the chair of the Wheat Farmers Association in Kano, I have witnessed the membership of our association grow exponentially. Just five years ago we had 1,700 members. By mid-November 2016 we had registered 22,000 farmers in Kano State alone. These farmers were previously growing tomatoes and other perishable vegetables. The interest in wheat membership has been because of the guaranteed market through an offtake program that was negotiated with the support of SARD-SC and its partners the Lake Chad Research Institute and the Institute of Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University-Zaria. In the formal agreement that we signed with the Millers Association on 14th of June 2016, we set a guaranteed minimum price of N14,000 (USD 40) per 100 kilogram bag and set up collection centres in Kebbi and Kano State. This worked very well and in fact most farmers sold their grains at a much higher price of N23,000 (USD 58).
The second major factor has been the Anchor Borrowing Facility that we got from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The borrowing program supports each farmer to access inputs specifically seed, fertilizer, herbicides and water pump (a package worth upto N220, 855) which they pay back in cash or in kind after harvest. Thirdly the farmers are attracted to the agronomic practices being taught by SARD-SC. For example just recently we concluded pre-season training in Kebbi State.
During that training we were taught irrigation management. Previously we used to water our wheat by submerging them under water, like we do with rice, but we were taught not to do that because it can wash away and even choke the seed and plant. On fertilizer we used to apply three times and because of excess water, it was often washed away. We were taught to use less water, and that means we apply less fertilizer. Further we not only got improved new wheat varieties, SARD-SC also trained us on how these varieties should be grown. As a result of the support and linkages, we have farmers who were growing 1.0ha of wheat now planting 2.0, 3.0 or even 5.0ha. Previously women were only into processing of wheat products but they too are now into farming. Their number has grown from just 220 women farmers five years ago to 2,040 this year. Because of the linkages created, the association has received other support including 500 water pumps from the Millers Association. We have also received from SARD-SC a mechanised row planter and a seed cleaner which are stationed in Kadawa research station. I have been a wheat farmer since 1988. Much of that time I was planting local varieties that gave me an average of 1.1 t/ha. Three years ago I began planting Atilla Gan Atilla that gave me between 2.5-3.5 t/ha. This made me increase the size of my farm to 10ha. Last season I got another variety called Norman which yielded for me between 3.5-4.5t/ha. This motivated me further and so this year I have increased the size of my wheat farm to 33ha and am still increasing. My target is to cultivate 70ha of wheat. Because of wheat farming I got money to diversify into poultry production and presently I have 2,000 chicken and I have also bought a car and my children are in private school and I thank God for all that.