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Salesians in Nigeria Train, Equip Multiple Farmers with “better” Crop Production methods

40 farmers receive training in better methods of crop production in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode. Credit: Salesian Missions

At least 40 farmers in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode have been equipped with better skills in animal and crop production at the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) run St. Joseph’s Farm in Sagamu.  

The empowerment of the farmers who largely comprise young men and women has been enabled by a donation from the U.S. development arm of the SDB. Salesian Missions.

“Forty farmers received training in better methods of crop production to help improve production and revenue. A piggery and fishery were also constructed with this funding,” Salesian Missions leadership says in a report shared with ACI Africa Wednesday, October 27. 

Officials of the SDB entity add that the training, which was provided to girls, poor women and unemployed youth in the locality has helped these beneficiaries “develop skills to manage their farms for increased productivity, self-employment and sustainability.”

The Nigerian region has high rates of underemployment, unemployment and formal education, the Salesian officials say. 

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In the report, the Director of Salesian missions, Fr. Gus Baek is quoted as saying the project has provided the youth of Sagamu with a source of revenue. 

“At St. Joseph’s Farm, young farmers are able to practice their techniques and become better at what they do, which increases their employment opportunities and revenue,” Fr. Baek has been quoted as saying. 

The Cleric adds, “Better employment and stable income will also help to curb migration and provide stable support for vulnerable people in the community.”

St. Joseph’s Farm was started in 2014 when SDB members moved to the town of Sagamu. It sits on a 25-hectare piece of land.

The Salesian missionaries also manage a Parish ministry, missionary out-stations, youth ministry, chaplaincy and agro-projects in Sagamu. 

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On the occasion of this year’s World Humanitarian Day marked August 19, Salesians highlighted the farm as one of their climate change interventions around the world.

In the August 19 report, the Salesians who described the farm as a center for training, research and production say the farmers' training program "indirectly benefits more than 5,000 people." 

They add that each training session at the farm attracts about 100 farmers. 

SDB members also noted that Sagamu's “rich vegetation and large masses of unoccupied or unused land continue to attract people to develop an interest in agriculture.”

Sagamu, which has a population of close to 256,000 people made up of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists, is known for the production of cocoa and kola nuts.

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