The three day free training on Vegetable Farming with an objective to build the capacity of vegetable farmers and intending farmers was completed on Friday, 1st April 2022. The aim is to improve the livelihoods of low-income vegetable and fruit farmers in Akwa Ibom State. The project targets the horticulture subsector (vegetables and fruits), which is particularly relevant to women farmers. The importance of training women farmers cannot be over-emphasized.

A total of 48 participants participated in this training. Women generally have been in the forefront of the fight against food crisis in the entire world. In Africa and Nigeria in particular, women produce about 78 percent of the continent’s food, vegetables including meat from livestock on subsistence and small land holdings with very limited access to training and other production resources Rural women are engaged in a wide range of farming activities and are responsible in most cases for food production, processing, distribution, home consumption and for sale. Women now make up the majority of the agricultural sector in Nigeria, but recent evidence suggests that their productivity is constrained by lack of appropriate training skills.

The purpose of this training was to train participants on Good Agronomic Practice and its role in the viable vegetable production and also provide information for those intending to start Backyard vegetable farm. Training included various topics such Pest/disease control method, Fertilizers selection and application rate, Storage methods & procedures , Harvesting time & techniques, Nursery operations, Planting and Transplanting operations, Chemical weed control, Compost manure preparation, Land Management, Agric-support services and Irrigation methods .

 The local demand for vegetables is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. Two major trends will bring this about - rising per capita income and continuing population growth in the Nigeria. Vegetables supply vitamins, minerals, fibers, and supplementary amounts of protein and calories essential to the human diet. If the urban and rural poor in Nigeria were to have access to vegetables, there should be adequate and stable supplies to keep their prices affordable. No less significant justification for trying to increase vegetable productivity in Nigeria is the potential to generate high income for small producers and additional employment for landless workers and for those involved in food processing.

The Benefits of Vegetable Farming

Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. When you pick vegetables right from your garden, the vitamin content will be at its highest. Also, you are reducing the risk of eating vegetables that contain harmful chemicals–you know exactly what you're eating!

Save money on groceries. One of the benefits of enjoying garden vegetables is a reduced monthly food bill. You can grow organic vegetables for a fraction of the cost in the stores.

Get outdoor exercise. Gardening is a physical activity and pulling weeds, planting, and digging can burn up to 400 calories per hour. Gardening is also a good mental exercise and helps keep your mind sharp.

Gardening is a natural stress reliever. Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine can improve mood and make you feel rejuvenated and overall happy. Growing your own produce also gives you a great sense of accomplishment.

Our subsequent blog will share more on what we trained farmers. Watch out!!