Agrolog General Services Limited in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation will support 60,000 smallholder farmers in vulnerable indigenous ginger farming communities in Kaduna State. The partnership will provide immediate materials, capacity, and structural support to boost ginger production and increase work opportunities for young people and adults in Nigeria.
Agrolog has been investing in the development of the ginger value chain since 2018.
The Managing Director of Agrolog Limited, Dr. Manzo Maigari, explained that in addition to improving yields of ginger from 18 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha) to 25MT/ha, the intervention will also create 60,000 on and off the farm jobs that will benefit the farmers and their communities by providing economic recovery, growth, and social stability.
According to Dr. Maigari, only smallholder farmers that belong to existing organized cooperatives within these local government areas can participate in the initiative. Farmers who are selected will receive support ranging from training to farming implements that they can immediately use on their farms to cultivate ginger and food crops.
“The ginger value chain, if well harnessed can transform livelihoods. Ginger products such as ginger spices, powder, oil, medicine, tea, and tonic confectioneries hold massive opportunities for smallholder farmers, young people, and women across the entire value chain. From planting, harvesting, cleaning, cutting, processing, bagging, storage, and sales, this initiative offers a ray of hope to thousands of families in their local communities who have been further paralyzed by the pandemic. Now, they will be able to rely on a steady and sustainable income stream through ginger farming and processing,” Dr. Maigarisaid.
The partnership unlocks a multitude of benefits to farmers and the farming community, including mechanization, training and capacity building, farm mapping, standardization of measures, increased yields, improved processing, access to organized markets, and financial inclusion.
A participant in the initiative, Kakuta Irimiah, lauded the partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Agrolog saying that the fertilizers and farm inputs they provided have helped to expand her business.
“The Agrolog fertilizer I received helped me to produce more bags of ginger. I used to produce 30 bags per hectare and now I produce between 50 to 100 bags. I have also received training on how to apply the fertilizers and how to construct drainages to prevent my farm from being washed away by erosion. Before this time, the colour of my produce was yellowish but now, it is greenish which is a sign of healthy and quality produce,” she said.
The intervention is being supported through the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, which is targeted at offering timely support to mitigate the impending economic crises among the vulnerable indigenous communities. The intervention is also aimed at averting further disruptions to the ginger supply chain because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Nonye Mpho Omotola