Support and donations from across Lincolnshire have enabled a Lincoln-based charity to build a vital farming and training facility in Nigeria.
Around 100 farmers in Kuta, Osun State, will be able to use facilities such as storage, a training workshop and a processing centre for cassava (a staple root vegetable) at the new centre.
The training facility for cassava processing will help local farmers reduce post-harvest loss and earn a decent income.
Set up by Lincoln charity Shepherd Food Ministries (SFM), the processing area was named the Lincolnshire Hub to recognise the support and donations from the country that have brought the vision to life.
Commissioned in July by SFM patron in Nigeria, Rt Revd James Popoola, the Diocesan Bishop of Osun, the training hub will be run by Shepherd Farmers Academy.
The opening was attended by village chiefs, the VC of Bowen University, other dignitaries and local farmers.
SFM President, Dr Ola Ogunyemi, said: “Such an agricultural intervention is needed to stem the challenges farmers face in getting a good return for their efforts.
“These facilities include storage, cassava processing centre, training workshop, borehole water, garage for tractors and living /changing rooms for farm workers.
“About 100 farmers will have regular access to the facilities to process their cassava into ‘garri’, regular access to workshops to enhance their skills in agribusiness and to develop know-how in digital literacy.”
He also thanked the SFM partners and supporters in the UK for donating to build the facilities.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Hammed Adekunle Makama Oyelude, Tegbosun III, Olowu of Kuta, welcomed the siting of the facility in his jurisdiction, and the social benefits it will bring to the area.
SFA aims to develop its 103 acres of land into a demonstration farm to disseminate best farming practices and preservation methods, to train farmers to use/maintain tractors and to establish market links in order to improve farmers’ livelihood and grow their business.
SFM operates within the remits of Sustainable Development Goals to alleviate food poverty among widows, orphans, disabled and youths from poor families.