The story of Grace Yohana, and how she is committed to widening access to quality seeds
Access to quality seeds has been a critical challenge for smallholder farmers in the Mararaba Rido Local Government Area of Nigeria, where Grace Yohana lives. As a way of addressing this issue, Grace trained as a community based facilitator (CBF) to provide value chain extension services focusing on maize, rice and soybean. Upon completion of her training, Grace decided to go further by sharing her knowledge and skills with the wider farming community using platforms provided by SAA Nigeria and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Kaduna State.
One of the ways in which Grace has utilised the opportunities made available to her by SAA and AGRA, is to become a representative for Value Seeds Limited – a crop seed production solution and development company based in Nigeria. By becoming an intermediator between farmers and Value Seeds Limited, Grace assesses the requirements of farmers and then relays this information to the company, in order to ensure smallholder farmers are provided with what they need.
"I was already serving my community as an extension agent by delivering services on crop production and enhancement,” Grace explains, “however, the series of training sessions I attended through the joint project implemented by SAA Nigeria and AGRA enabled me to understand key components of the agricultural value chain system. It broadened my horizons, and made me realise that I can increase my income from this new venture.
“My hard work paid off and in addition to increasing my income, I’m also now engaged in solving the challenges that we have in the supply system of quality seeds.”
As part of her role with Value Seeds Limited, Grace also procures seeds and then packages them accordingly in 2kg and 5kg bags, with appropriate labels. She also places orders on behalf of customers, and provides advisory services to smallholder famers who visit the store.