(ANS – Sagamu) – In Sagamu, Ogun State, south-western Nigeria, the Salesians are working since 2014. Actually the Salesians community oversees parish ministry, missionary out-stations, youth pastoral ministry, chaplaincy and Agro-Projects in the diocese of Ijebu Ode, in which it is located. Among their project, the flagship is the “St Joseph’s Farm”, a Centre for training, Research and Production.
With a population of near 256,000 with a mix of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists, Sagamu is known for its agricultural products such as cocoa and kola nuts. The region’s rich vegetation and large masses of unoccupied or unused land continue to attract a lot of people to develop an interest in agriculture. Yet, the region is bedevilled with high rates of unemployment, underemployment and a low rate of formal education.
St Joseph’s Farm initiative is situated on 25 hectares acquired by the Salesians. It is planned as a centre of excellence for crop production, animal farming, research and training especially for youth and smallholder farmers.
The Salesians have started a project aimed at:
- Providing a good opportunity for food security with the intention of generating income for the employed young people and other poor persons, especially widows and girls;
- Improving the method of crop production in a sustainable manner, market and innovative technology access;
- Access to climate resilient techniques and practices in order to increase smallholder farmers’ productivity and revenue in a sustainable way;
- Providing a platform for practical experience for farmers and farmers-to-be within the locality;
- Increasing employment opportunities for smallholder farmers in general, however it will target specifically poor youth and women in the locality;
- Aiding in curbing the menace of irregular migration and providing income for many vulnerable people.
St Joseph’s Farm, in the next years, will concentrate enormous skills and energy in the promotion of crop production for the poor residents, community and the environs. Selected crops for the farm will include lettuce, cabbage, ugu, cucumber, maize, soybean, cassava, yam and any other essential crop according to season and demand. The farm will also have a greenhouse.
Each training session is expected to have 100 participants involved in the farming activities with prior attention given to poor women and girls. Indirect beneficiaries are expected to be over 5,000 involved in the value chain of the project.
- Poor and vulnerable young people across the country;
- Women and girls;
- Students from Don Bosco technical and vocational schools;
- Graduates from Agriculture institutions;
- Potential migrants and returnees;
- Researchers in the field of agriculture;
- Small scale farmers;
- Families already in agriculture.
Source: Salesians Ireland
- AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
- Sviluppo Sociale