By Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe
Enumerators and supervisors are receiving training on how to carry out a study to fill gaps identified from baseline data produced by Project Appraisal Document, for the Integrated Approach Programme on Food Security in Northern Nigeria.
The United Nation Development Programme, UNDP, the Global Environment Facility and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are carrying out the training.
The survey is part of a five-year programme to implement Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in the Savannah Zones of Northern Nigeria to enhance food security and long-term sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Nigeria.
It is to be conducted in households and farmlands, collecting data on the socio-economic and environmental activities from women and youths, who are already involved in the commodity value chain of production, processing, marketing, agro-input dealing, farm service subscription among others.
The baseline survey will determine the total annual crop production of rice, groundnut, cassava, sorghum, maize, vegetables and other local staple crops produced, dairy, poultry, fish and piggery production, existence, nature and status of produce local market transactions as well as linkages within and outside the community, local government area and state.
The coverage of the study
Speaking to Voice of Nigeria during the training, the Lead Consultant of the project, Professor Patrick Kwaghe said the study would cover the present state of soil erosion, vegetation cover and carbon content stored, level of annual crop production, market linkages, and agricultural platforms.
According to the Lead Consultant of the project, Professor Patrick Kwaghe, the project cannot be successfully carried without with a survey and data collected from the areas.
“We want to carry out this baseline survey to know the situation now, so that when they start implementing their project, after one, two years, they can measure the mid-term, then after five years, they can now measure the impact. So that, they can now say that, okay, our intervention has increased the productivity of farming in the target area by fifty per cent or something like that. We cannot measure this without having the baseline,” Professor Kwaghe said.
He said the study would ultimately help enhance the productivity of the farmer and at the same time protect the environment.
The agricultural project by the UNDP, Global Environment Facility and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is being implemented in 70 communities in 14 Local Governments areas of 7 Northern savannah states of Adamawa, Benue, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa States.
The goal of the project is to enhance long-term sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Nigeria, by building greater community resilience to climate risks and other shocks that drive food insecurity.
The National Advisor of the Project, Dr. Garba Saleh said the seven states were selected for the pilot scheme, so that when it is successful, it would be replicated in the other states.
“The reason the 7 states are selected is because they are a pilot study. After the completion of the project, if the project is successful, then, it can be extended to other states of the federation. And this project is not only a Nigerian Project. It’s a multinational project, because it has been taking place in 12 African countries, including Nigeria. So, in Nigeria, seven states are selected and each and every state, two local governments are selected and in each and every local government, five communities are being selected as a pilot study,” Dr. Garba said.
Two of the enumerators, Dr. Helen Teghtegh from Benue State and Mr. Maina Jonathan from Gombe State, expressed their role in the soon to be conducted survey on the sustainability and resilience of food production systems in Nigeria.
“I think it’s a well targeted project and it’s timely to empower the Nigerian woman. It’s an appropriate project and I hope from the baseline survey, results that will be gathered will be used appropriately to empower the Nigerian woman, Dr. Teghtegh stated.
“For Gombe State to move forward, we need to know where we are. We need to have data for planning. You cannot do anything without planning And this workshop is meant to train us on how we should go to the field and collect data, so that we will be able to know where our farmers are in terms of production, in terms of socio-economic activities, in terms of environment. You see, our environments have been depleted over the years based on the practices that farmers have been engaging in, felling of trees unnecessarily for wood. So we want to know where exactly our environment is and what plans we have for the future,” Mr. Jonathan said.
The baseline survey is expected to begin on Monday, July 8 and will last for 10 days. It will produce a detailed report on the current situation in the target communities regarding its crops and animals production capacity, level of present vegetation cover and carbon content, as well as determine soil erosion.