Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) said it has assisted over 1500 women, men and youth groups located in many local government areas (LGAs) across seven Northern States.
Hajiya Salamatu Garba, the Executive Director, WOFAN, made this known during an interview with journalists in Abuja.
Garba said that WOFAN partners and works with a mobilised, registered multipurpose cooperatives, community service groups, private sectors, research institutions towards achieving a holistic development of the people.
We have formed the working groups of WOFAN and each group has 20 to 30 members to identify their needs and draw up action plans for intervention in seven Northern states.
“Over 1500 women, men and youth groups located in many local government areas (LGAs) across seven Northern States have formed the collective working groups of WOFAN of which each group has 20 to 30 members
“ We assist rural groups to identify their needs and draw up action plans for intervention and each group chooses its own leaders and it is responsible for implementing WOFAN-assisted projects.
“ WOFAN also train its target groups across a wide range of matters like leadership, development, advocacy, business management, agriculture, value chain and food processing.
“ Others are preservation, water and soil conservation, sustainable environment and climate change adaptation, improved agricultural technology, health awareness programmes among others’’ she said.
She said that WOFAN generally involves the household in its activities with the aim of improving gender relations by encouraging the involvement of men and women in project intervention at all levels.
Garba said that the groups which are mainly unisex with members involved in similar economic activities started 1998.
According to him, presently, the 1500 rural groups have about 75 per cent of women and 25 per cent male and youth registered members with WOFAN.
“They are encouraged to form various cooperatives or community development units.
“ Though, WOFAN’s strength is in building the capacities of these rural women groups, 25 per cent of its support goes to supporting, leadership and group dynamics and support to vulnerable groups and children.
“We did same to youth and girls child oriented organisations to assist them take lead on issues that affect them and improve their wellbeing in addition to building good gender relations to promote economic and political empowerment,’’ she said.
According to her, WOFAN groups are mostly illiterates, who are helped to attain literacy during the course of its projects with them.
“ In recognition of this, WOFAN has designed a curriculum called the ‘community women curriculum’ which is a functional literacy programme to be completed within two years.
“Also, included in this is training are basic health issues, vocational/skills acquisition, agriculture and nutrition training, good governance, economic empowerment and information,’’ she said.
WOFAN boss disclosed that membership is opened to individuals and groups, who believe in the organisation’s vision, goal and objectives and are willing to work together for their own development.
“To benefit from the services of WOFAN, a community group must be together for a minimum of six months and demonstrate good leadership and unity within themselves.
“During this period, group members would be given some training to build their capacity,’’ she said.
WOFAN was established in June 1993 and was incorporated with the Kano State Government as a Community Development Association in 1995 and later registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2004.
The seven participating states are Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Benue, Nassarawa, Gombe and Adamawa.