In Faigi Tshonga district, Kwara State, western Nigeria, groundnuts play an important role in the lives of farmers. Not only are these nuts a key ingredient in the preparation of some meals, but they are also a major source of income. All year round, there is a demand for groundnuts, which provide an economic activity for most farmers.
However, despite this growing demand, the production of quality groundnuts remains low. This is mainly attributed to the fact that cultivation methods have been passed down from generation to generation, leading to a knowledge gap on the latest technologies and Good Agricultural Practices.
For over 15 years, Esther N. Isa and her family have farmed groundnuts. They mainly grow a local groundnut variety called “Ekochi” on their three-hectare piece of land. Despite sufficient land to commercially produce groundnuts, this mother of eight says that she mainly incurs losses, due to low quality and quantity of produce.
The germination rate of our Ekochi is not that high, which affects our yearly production. Due to the lack of drying and storage facilities, we lose some of our groundnuts to pest and aflatoxin infestation. It has been really difficult to utilize the money we get from our groundnut production to cover living costs and education fees of our eight children; four of them are in institutions of higher learning, two are in secondary school while the other two are about to join secondary school.
For Esther, the solution was not to plant more groundnuts but to increase her knowledge on Good Agronomic Practices and the use of improved, high-yielding groundnut varieties.
Training smallholder farmers on good agricultural practices is one of the key interventions of the Ladipo & Lawani (L&L) Foods - 2SCALE partnership. Not only does this support the inclusion and empowerment of smallholder farmers into the groundnut value chain, but it also promotes the adoption of best agronomic practices at farm level.
Since the year 2020, 2,000 smallholder farmers have received trainings on Good Agronomic Practices in Nigeria. Esther is among the 900 female smallholder farmers who have benefited. To complement this knowledge and to initiate business relationships with L&L, she joined the out-grower scheme and received improved groundnut seeds from L&L.
For her, the training was an eye-opener where she learned more on how to sustainably produce groundnuts, improve her business skills, and reap maximum benefit from her farm. She recounts:
What stood out for me in the training is the knowledge on diseases affecting our groundnuts. Before, I did not know the likes of early and late leaf spot diseases, groundnut rust, groundnut rosette, and aflatoxin. I thank 2SCALE for this opportunity because if we don’t know, there is no way we can prevent these pests and diseases. I am now equipped with the appropriate knowledge on how best to prevent these diseases and if they appear on my groundnut farm, I know what to do!