The Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) on Monday donated 120 reapers and 120 threshers to smallholder rice farmers ahead of the Oct. 16 World Food Day and the World Rural Women Day.
WOFAN’s Executive Director, Hajia Salamatu Garba, disclosed this while distributing two reapers and two threshers to rural women at Dokpa community in Gwagwalada Area Council, of the Federal Capital Territory.
Garba said that the donation was meant to ease farming for the smallholder farmers, especially women, boost their production and introduce them to mechanised farming.
She stated that WOFAN, through its partners like MasterCard, the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI), provided the smallholder farmers with the machines as grant, and trained them on how to operate the equipment.
“We plan to end the process of transplanting with hand, harvesting with sickle and beating this rice on drums.
“The new process removes a lot of sand from the rice making it more attractive,’’ she said.
WOFAN decided to move a step ahead with its partners to mark the International Rural Women’s Day and the World Food Day with a difference.
“ WOFAN has 120 reapers and 120 threshers; these are the heavy duty ones that are about N580, 000 each.
“Beneficiaries will cut their rice using these machines and thresh them mechanically to separate the paddy from the fodder,’’ she said.
“In a hectare of rice farm, you can get between 64 bags and 70 bags, which means that farmers can produce about 140 bags in a day.
“The farmers have confirmed to us that using these machines is equivalent to hiring a 40-man team to work for about four days,’’ she added.
Garba said rice producers in WOFAN’s area of jurisdiction such as Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna Nasarawa, Benue, Gombe and Adamawa states would benefit from the initiative.
She added that WOFAN was working with 2, 400 groups in the seven states and that each group had about 30 members.
She said that the project, which began 28 years ago in the northern part of the country, would soon be extended to the southern parts. (NAN)