October 22, 2020
The Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion (SHEP) is an approach for smallholder horticultural farmers developed by JICA. This approach encourages horticultural farmers to change a mind-set of "Grow and sell" to "Grow to sell". It also aims at improving their farming skills and income.
Nigeria sent several staff to JICA SHEP training in Japan since 2015, and based on their action plan, SHEP pilot activities were conducted in Nasarawa state and the Federal Capital territory (FCT). The Federal Government of Nigeria observed that the pilot project had positive impact on the livelihood of the farmers as a result of increased income and hence requested the Japanese Government to extend the approach to 18 other states of Nigeria. In response to the request, JICA in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a four-year technical cooperation project titled "Project on the Promotion of Market-oriented Agricultural Extension System for Livelihood Improvement in Nigeria" in August in 2020. The goal of this project is to customize the SHEP Approach to specific conditions of Nigeria and normalize the approach as an agricultural extension method in Nigeria. The project is to establish an implementation system for market-oriented extension service and expand SHEP Approach to 20 states. Furthermore, the component of nutrition improvement is also included in the Project.
Baseline Survey with farmers in FCT
Market survey with farmers Nasarawa
Map of Nigeria showing the 20 states for expansion and implementation of SHEP Approach
Master Trainers' Training
From August 31st to September 4th, 2020, eight staff of Federal Department of Agricultural Extension who were appointed as Master Trainers were trained. The training was conducted remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic.
These Master Trainers are responsible for training extension agents, monitoring and coordinating the SHEP activities in the 20 target states in Nigeria. The training included topics such as outline of the Project, sensitization of farmers, baseline survey, gender and family budget, market survey, crop selection, business plan making, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and monitoring and evaluation.
According to one of the trainees (Ms. Omolola Mary Onaolapo), the training has improved her understanding of SHEP Approach and she looks forward to contributing to capacity development of extension agents throughout Nigeria.
Furthermore, the project plans to expand SHEP activities to other farmers in Nasarawa state and FCT, and build capacity of extension agents in Agricultural Development Program (ADP) in 18 other states to become SHEP Trainer.
Lecture using video material
Group photograph of master trainers