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Nigeria: Ladies in Agriculture – How Farming Helped Me Beat Unemployment After NYSC

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“I began elevating capital in my college days as a pupil. I used to be working and saving however I by no means knew it was going to be farming.”

Endurance Dang is a smallholder farmer and a college graduate dwelling in Jos. She cultivates maize and Irish potatoes. Like some farmers, she began farming as a result of steep fee of unemployment in Nigeria.

Nonetheless, issues modified favourably for her when she got here in touch with an organisation that supported her farming actions. On this episode of Ladies in Agriculture, Ms Dang shares an attention-grabbing expertise.

PT: Can you set us by way of your journey in Agriculture?

Ms Dang: I began farming three years in the past after my Nationwide Youth Service Corps (NYSC). I got here again from Taraba the place I used to be posted to serve however there was no work so I simply began farming. I began with one and a half plots of land. I needed to lease the land as a result of individuals lease lands. The household land is within the village and I can not reside there neither can I entrust somebody with the accountability of caring for my farm there. I needed to search for a farm round right here, it is nearly 40 minutes’ stroll from my home. It is usually an acceptable space the place I can follow irrigation farming. I pay N25,000 for the entire yr.

PT: You began as a beginner, how have been you capable of increase the capital?

Ms Dang: I began elevating capital in my college days as a pupil. I used to be working and saving however I by no means knew it was going to be farming. I used to be ushering at totally different occasions. After commencement, I got here residence and began promoting “zobo” to miners. When my call-up letter got here, I used to be posted to Jalingo, the place I began a fish enterprise. I am going to fishermen, purchase fish and dry them myself earlier than distribution. I offered to different elements of the nation. Sooner or later I needed to promote to simply supermarkets in Taraba.

PT: Have you ever obtained any empowerment from the federal government or non-public organisations?

Ms Dang: I’ve not obtained something from the federal government however I’ve obtained from a non-governmental organisation known as Alluvial Agriculture. I obtained to know Alluvial Agriculture in 2020 by way of a buddy. I googled them and I registered. After registration, there was orientation on the organisation’s coverage. They confirmed us improved seedlings, and individuals who had benefited from them shared their testimonies. We waited for a while for them to share the seedlings and, whereas ready, the NGO organised coaching for girls farmers on learn how to handle a farm as a lady, which included record-keeping.

The coaching was informative as a result of the rain got here earlier so I couldn’t await them to share their very own seeds. So I used my very own. I obtained the seedlings after however I used to be not in a position to make use of them. I’ll use them subsequent farming season. Additionally they distributed herbicides which I used on my farm this yr and it was very efficient. There may be this termite that eats up maize when the rain is brief, in addition they obtained the chemical substances for that. It helped maintain the termites away from my maize, it may have been a loss.

PT: Apart from the herbicides and seeds, is there another factor they distributed?

Ms Dang: Sure, I obtained fertilizer. It was an improved one, I used three baggage on my farm and my neighbour used the amount on his farm however mine was very productive.

PT: Whereas registering with the organisation, was there a monetary dedication?

Ms Dang: Sure, similar to different organisations.

PT: The inputs you bought, did you get them at subsidised charges?

Ms Dang: Sure however it’s possible you’ll not should pay for the whole lot earlier than getting them. You could have the chance to pay any share relying on what you are taking. As a registered member I pays with both money or a few of my merchandise.

PT: Insecurity is one other subject for everybody in Nigeria. Just lately in Jos, lives have been misplaced. Are you able to share your expertise on how this has affected your corporation?

Ms Dang: It has actually affected farming in Plateau State. In truth, it occurs extra in rural areas the place individuals practise industrial farming. Personally, I’ve not had any expertise since I began. I keep in Jos South which is a metropolis. I go to my farm usually. If not the herders convey of their cows when nobody is there.