The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with Value Seeds Limited to empower 4000 women in Nigeria through a two-year agricultural intervention known as Support for Food and Job Creation (SFJC).
In a statement, the intervention which aligned with Mastercard Foundation’s goal is to enable smallholder farmers in the agricultural sector to improve their productivity and access to new markets.
In 2021, the SFJC project recruited and on boarded 4,092 women and youths, representing an increase of 92 farmers from the previously anticipated 4,000 farmers slated for that year. These farmers were given farm inputs and agricultural supplements. They were trained on the latest agronomical practices, especially maize and rice farming, using 2,510 maize and 887 rice hectares, respectively.
Also, the project educated and exposed 3,251 farmers to the uses and benefits of weather forecasting in farming.
The agricultural supplements distributed include fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, agrochemicals, knapsack sprayers, sachet tomato seeds, farm inputs for maize and rice seedlings.
This project also played a part in ensuring that these farmers adhered to the principles of financial inclusion by opening and accessing personal bank accounts and undergoing the training necessary to operate them.
The farmers were also guaranteed access to structured markets to sell their produce at premium prices, and they had access to aggregation centres where their products were stored to help manage the cost of transportation to the markets and the logistics of storage.