WAAPP-NIGERIA ADOPTED VILLAGES AND SCHOOLS
The adopted village concept involves the process of technology transfer and adoption of the improved packages released by the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) to the farming communities around the NARIs. The approach brings together the researchers and extension agents working on the farmers’ field to provide solution to the identified field problems. This approach is beneficial to the farmers because they are involved in the planning, development and demonstration of the new technology, which ensures the adoption of the technology. The approach also demonstrates the impact of group activities on productivity and income of the farming community as a whole.
The adopted village concept was initiated by the National Agricultural Research Project (NARP), which was a World Bank sponsored programme for the NARS in 1996 to address the following challenges facing adoption of agricultural technologies for development in Nigeria:
i. Inaccessibility of small–holder farmers to improved technologies emanating from National Agricultural Research System (NARS) to boost agricultural production in all sub-sectors including arable and horticultural crops, fisheries, livestock and agro-forestry.
ii. Lack of effective linkage between extension, research and farmers in the village farming communities, for effective and proper articulation of farmers’ problems in the field.
iii. Lack of awareness of the socio-economic environment in which research findings will be utilized by the Research Scientists.
The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) resuscitated the programme in 2008. The Council, after an earlier agreement reached at Management Retreat with its NARIs and FCAs, mandated all the NARIs and FCAs to adopt two village communities and two secondary schools to implement the Adopted Village Concept as a model for technology adoption in the research institute system. The NARIs and FCAs should ensure that technologies to be promoted in the farming community of the adopted villages have the following characteristics for successful adoption:
ü Economically viable
ü Technologically simple, and
ü Cultural compatible with the farming system in the communities.
In 2012, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), a programme largely sponsored by the World Bank under the ARCN of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development took full charge of the programme and brought it to limelight. WAAPP, under ARCN has been responsible for the funding of the adopted villages through the NARS since 2012. The following are the objectives of the adopted villages:
i. To encourage large scale adoption of improved technologies
- Economic empowerment of resource poor farmers
- To create job opportunities for youths
To enhance and ensure food security
The objectives of the adopted schools are to: increase interest among the secondary school students in agriculture and home economics; increase number of students taking agricultural science and home economics in the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations; increase percentage of students who make credit and above in the WAEC and NECO examinations in the two subjects; increase percentage of the school graduates who read agriculture in tertiary institutions; increase percentage of the school graduates who go into agriculture as a business; increase adoption of improved technologies in school farms; and increase adoption of improved technologies in farm families of the students.
Students engage in engaged in practicals Students learning how to feed fish
The project (WAAPP) is facilitating dissemination of improved on-shelf agricultural technologies of NARS through the adopted villages. The number of adopted villages has increased from 52 in 2012 to 261 in December 2014 (502% increase). The total number of beneficiaries being reached in the communities is 552,111 as against 67,000 in 2012 (824 % increase). Technologies are being disseminated to the beneficiaries in the adopted villages through the NARS mainly in the following commodities: maize, rice, aquaculture, cassava, yam, sorghum and poultry. WAAPP is presently installing 12 biogas plants in 12 adopted villages across the Country. These biogas plants will generate electricity and cooking gas for the members of the communities. WAAPP intends to intensify its support to the adopted villages through NARS to improve the achievements from the communities.
With the establishment of the adopted villages, there has been more interactions between the farmers and the research institutes in terms on bottom-top technology acquisitions. Many farmers have been trained in agro related ventures, including how best to embark on different agricultural enterprises such as poultry, aquaculture, rabittery, and various crops. Also, farmers have been taught a more modernized method of farming in Integrated Agriculture Research for Development (IAR4D), exposing them to value chain agriculture through innovation platforms. As a result of this, youths have been engaged in agriculture, armed with the training received. They are into aquaculture, poultry, crop production and processing. They have formed themselves into groups as we now have youth groups in the communities. More than 30 different technologies have been disseminated to farmers in the communities.
Beneficiaries from the adopted villages also get improved seeds from WAAPP through the coordinating institutions. In 2014, a total of 3,171MT of rice, 5,213MT of maize and 971MT of sorghum of certified seeds were distributed to farmers in the adopted villages and innovation platforms. As a result of the activities in the adopted villages, the income of farmers in the communities have been increased by 40%.
Considering the importance of biogas digester as a cheap source of energy and fertilizer for the rural communities, the roles it plays in the control of deforestation, plant disease and pests, and creation of employment opportunities, WAAPP, through the adopted villages embarked on a project on training of youths on construction of biogas digesters in 12 locations across the country. The beneficiary communities are in 12 states, namely Niger, FCT, Ondo, Abia, Edo Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Plateau, Uyo and Kwara States. The project has been completed at Ndagbachi village of Niger state; Kilankwa II, Kwali Local Council Area of FCT, it is currently going on at Iguovbiobo community, Uhumwonde LGA of Edo state. By October, 2015, the 12 biogas digesters would have been established in 12 states; and entrepreneurship skills of the members of the communities and coordinating institutions developed, by the end of 2015.