The European Union (EU), Oxfam in Nigeria, and the Development Exchange Centre (DEC), will partner with the government of Taraba state, located in the north east of Nigeria, to implement an initiative aimed at increasing the productivity and income of farmers in the state.
A statement published on the Oxfam website said the project will target about 300,000 people in 30,000 farming households in Donga, Wukari, Ardo Kola, Kurmi, Takum and Zing Local Government Areas of Taraba state. The initiative is funded by the EU and will be implemented by DEC and Oxfam in Nigeria.
The project, which is known as Produce and Sell (PROSELL), seeks to improve the resilience of small-scale farmers, fishermen and livestock owners in the face of shocks from climate change, such as changing rainfall patterns, drought and desertification.
The statement revealed that the project comes after the success of Pro-Resilience Action (PROACT), a similar EU-funded project that is currently reaching 35,000 farming households in Kebbi and Adamawa States.
According to the statement, “PROACT has helped to increase farmers’ access to timely agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers; finance for farmer groups; knowledge on practices to improve their yield through farmer field training schools, and community-owned grain reserves to provide food in the lean season, tree planting for fight climate change and village savings and loans association to grow flexible financial services for the rural poor”.
It was also noted in the statement that “the net result of PROACT is at least 100 percent agricultural yield increase across Adamawa and Kebbi States and this is what is being replicated in Taraba state”.
Ms. Montserrat Pantaleoni, the Head of the Health, Nutrition and Resilience Section at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, who represented the Head of Delegation, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, at the launch of the initiative, noted how the project was in line with the EU’s focus on women and youth not only in the state, but in the country.
Pantaleoni said “this project will target 50 percent women and 30 percent youth, and this is important. It is predicted that Nigeria will be the fourth most populous country in the world by 2050, it is essential that population growth is accompanied by sustainable economic development. It is crucial that women and young people, who make up most of the country, are able to contribute meaningfully to the economy”.