MEDA partners train farmers how to battle deadly toxins.
Rural farmers in Nigeria, particularly women and youth, are hard hit by a number of environmental and market factors.
Aflatoxins, a family of toxins produced by fungi which are abundant in warm and humid regions of the world, attack crops such as groundnuts (peanuts), maize and rice. This reduces the quality and price paid for these crops.
The toxins take a human toll as well. Aflatoxins are responsible for 30 percent of Africa’s liver cancer cases, the Economic Community of Western African States parliament was told in late 2019.
A partnership between MEDA’s Nigeria WAY program and several in- country partners is training farmers to overcome these challenges.
Nigeria WAY is a five-year MEDA project. It supports 16,000 small-scale businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly those run by women and youth, to improve their business performance and the business environment in the agricultural sector in Bauchi state in Northern Nigeria. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada and donations from MEDA supporters.
Nigeria WAY’s in-country partners have trained many farmers how to address the aflatoxin problem using a new biopesticide. Aflasafe, which was invented and produced in Nigeria, works from the plot to the plate to cut contamination by 80 to 100 percent and keep foods safe.
No Retreat No Surrender is a women’s co-operative that farms groundnuts, both individually and as a group. They received training in using the biopesticide and now receive a higher price for their crops, as they can deliver aflatoxin- free groundnuts.
No Retreat No Surrender is sharing their experience with other women’s co-ops in Bauchi state. It is providing guidance and training to others who are growing groundnuts.
Groundnuts harvested after applying the biopesticide have a better look and taste, they say.
The No Retreat No Surrender co-op won a contract to supply 3.3 tons of groundnuts a month and are being paid a premium price 11 percent higher than the prevailing market rate, improving the group’s profitability.
Other clients who are using the biopesticide and selling groundnuts to the co-op are also receiving a similar price premium.
No Retreat No Surrender is buying the biopesticide from middlemen for resale to farmers in Bauchi. The co-op regularly receives training requests from women’s groups in other areas.