Lincoln charity launches fundraiser to support Nigerian farmers

Lincolnshire residents are being asked to help out a group of farmers in Nigeria by donating money for machines needed to harvest their produce.

Shepherd Food Ministries, a Lincoln-based charity set up in 2007 to relieve hunger, sickness and disease in the West African country, has started a fundraising campaign to support smallholders in their efforts to improve their livelihoods.

Photo: Shepherd Food Ministries

Photo: Shepherd Food Ministries

The charity also specialises in advancing locals’ knowledge in agriculture, and purchased 103 acres of land in Osun State in 2009, with money raised by Lincolnshire residents.

Now, the charity is calling on people in the county to help them buy machines for the farmers which will allow them to process cassava, a potato-like vegetable harvested in Nigeria, more efficiently.

A total of £6,000 is needed by July to buy mills, fryers, hydraulic presses, and peeling and chipping machines which will be housed in a new storage and processing centre built by the ministry.

Photo: Shepherd Food Ministries

Photo: Shepherd Food Ministries

Ola Ogunyemi, a lecturer at the University of Lincoln and president of Shepherd Food Ministries, said: “Many smallholder farmers will not make enough income this year from their cassava harvest to meet the needs of their families, pay school fees or hospital bills for their children.

“This is because cassava supply will outstrip demand as all of them rush to the the market before they start to rut.

“This vicious circle is perpetuated due to the lack of a storage and processing facility near them to add value and increase their income.”