At least 110 smallholder cassava farmers drawn from five local government areas of Kwara state have been fortified against pesticide contamination and other health hazards associated with their farming activities.
The beneficiaries, who were selected from Ilorin South, Moro, Ifelodun, Irepodun and Asa local government areas of Kwara state, received personal protective equipments (PPEs).
The items were distributed by Ayosifam, an agri-business enterprise that deals in cassava food processing into nutritious, stone free garri and its derivatives in Ilorin, Kwara state Nigeria.
Blueprint reports that the activities were carried out by Ayosifam team in collaboration with extension agent unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, Kwara state and with fund support from USAID Nigeria.
The personal protective equipment (PPE) distributed to them include nose masks, long hand gloves, rain boots, head hats, overa suits and napsacks.
Chief Executive Officer of Ayosifarm, Mrs Funmilayo Famuyiwa, said, “the objective of the project tagged: “Cassava values chain as food security,” is to reduce the effects of COVID-19 among smallholders cassava farmers.”
Famuyiwa said: “The enterprise is working to improve local food nutrition and increase agricultural productivity in rural areas, Nigeria.
“Smallholders cassava farmers are the key to supply of raw materials to existent of our Garri processing factory and its derivatives, while COVID-19 threaten their subsistence, it’s essential to help them reduce pesticide contamination hazard health risks and their livelihoods,” the CEO said.
She recalled that “the farmers given the PPEs had earlier been trained by AYOSIFAM team in November, 2021 on good agricultural practices, financial literacy and cooperative formation in order to equip them with requisite knowledge needed to increase their productivity in cassava farming.
“Also, a platform called AyosifamHub was introduced (www.ayosifamhub.com.ng) in December to enable cassava farmers display their goods and connect them with prospective processors who are willing to buy from them.