From Struggling Farmer to Visionary Agricultural Entrepreneur in Nigeria


Mallam Idris Umar from Swa community in the Balanga Local Government of Nigeria’s Gombe State, has transitioned from agricultural strife into a visionary farmer, inspired by training and agricultural support from the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA). 

Just last year, Umar harvested three bags of soybean from his 0.25-hectare that previously only yielded one bag. He sold the harvest for 90,000 Naira (USD117) to buy a calf that has now grown into a cow valued at 300,000 Naira (USD388). 

Pre-SAA, Umar struggled with traditional farming techniques. His path to transformation was charted early 2022, when SAA, with funding from The Nippon Foundation, set up a training program for Umar’s cooperative group, the Dilyiro MPCS Limited. The session covered Good Agricultural Practices, including optimized fertilizer application, and integrated composting into his farming practices. 

Umar implemented the lessons on his modest soybean farm, which has now transformed into a money-maker. By adopting narrower seed spacing, he enhanced air circulation and effectively minimized the threat of pests and diseases. He also learnt to compost livestock manure, a skill that now helps him to enhance the fertility of his soil and moisture retention while effectively managing waste within his property.  

Mallam Idris Umar’s story is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact that targeted training and the adoption of modern agricultural practices can have on the lives of smallholder farmers and their communities. His journey serves as inspiration to embrace innovation in driving sustainable agricultural transformation.

Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in December 2023 with Focus on 2023 Highlights

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