Support agriculture and nutrition for the women and children of Nigeria

Nigeria is the richest and most populous country in Africa. Propelled by a booming oil industry, its GDP is greater than that of South Africa. Yet in spite of its economic success, poverty and social inequality within the country continues to increase.

In Bauchi, Nigeria, 85% of the population depend on farming to survive. A figure that represents 4 million individuals - the majority of whom are women and children – forced to live under conditions of extreme poverty. Consequently, mortality rates in the region are very high, almost double the national average. Sadly, the ones most affected by this are children under the age of 5, due mainly to starvation and malnutrition.

Put simply, low agricultural yields and insufficient income from agriculture continue to pose many challenges in the fight against malnutrition and extreme poverty in this region.

Project Nigeria LINE (Livelihood and Nutrition Empowerment) is helping thousands of Nigerian families to optimize their farming methods, increase their income, eat healthier and improve their living conditions.

 

Improving neonatal nutrition

Information sessions are currently being implemented with the aim of improving the nutrition of pregnant women and ensuring a better understanding of overall dietary health.

Empowered with this knowledge, household diet is thereby improved according to available resources. In addition, awareness campaigns on the importance and unequivocal nutritional benefits of breastfeeding during the first 6 months of an infant' life will be conducted. While breast milk provides infants with all the nutrition they require, most Nigerian parents are unaware of its dietary significance.

Strengthening agricultural activities and developing local cooperatives

This component aims to give women and young people in Bauchi access to land and to help develop their agricultural and entrepreneurial skills. Ongoing training will be made available to both women and young farmers, with an emphasis on the management of social economy enterprises, the promotion of innovative agricultural techniques, including the processing and bringing to market of agricultural by-products, in order to help develop their sector and respond to the specific needs of the local population.

The project aims to improve sesame, sorghum, and rice crop yields, as well as dairy and bovine production.

Objectives and expected results

  • 10,000 families + 600 accompanying agricultural cooperatives
  • 80,000 indirect beneficiaries
  • 6 target areas
  • Distribution of 9,000 agricultural input kits (including seeds, fertilizers, etc.)
  • Creation of 216 agricultural and cooperatives and agribusinesses
  • 123 training courses in agricultural crop production and animal husbandry techniques
  • 180 training courses in the management and governance of agricultural enterprises
  • 41 training courses on gender issues in agriculture
  • Raising awareness among 1,000 women about neonatal nutrition (benefits of solely breastfeeding)
  • Distribution of seed kits adapted to these women for their family gardens and plots
  • Training sessions for teachers to offer workshops in the most remote rural areas

Testimonial

Latana with her daughter Maryam

Thirty-seven year old Lantana Aminu is a devoted mother of six young children. This year, Lantana and her children all benefitted from the diet and nutrition component of Oxfam’s Project LINE.

Today, Maryam is not only a healthy child, but her mother, Lantana, has become a role model in her community. She now shares what she learned during her training sessions with other mothers in the area.

"When Oxfam arrived and the first workshops began, I was pregnant (with Maryam). I thought to myself, why not try this new idea to see if my child would be healthier than the others. Thanks to the workshops, I learned that a mother’s breast milk contains antibodies that boost the immune system and help her baby fight off diseases. Maryam did not suffer from diarrhea and pneumonia like many other children in our village. I was also taught that the water used for purees is not clean enough for newborns, who are more fragile than us, and should not be given to them. It amazes me how babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months, without any other food, suffer from fewer infections, respiratory diseases and diarrhea than those who are not." said Lantana.