The Erinpa Owode-Ketu Women Association, founded in 2014, is an association of women farmers and entrepreneurs in Ayetoro Erinpa and Owode-Ketu communities of Yewa North, Ogun State, who support one another to increase their income through agriculture. The association is tasked with sourcing, procurement, and processing of cassava and other food crops for their members and the Erinpa Owode-Ketu communities.
Agriculture is an integral part of Nigeria’s informal economy, and like other sectors of the informal economy, it is dominated by women. Women smallholder farmers constitute 70-80% of the agriculture labour force in Nigeria.
Amongst the numerous problems that plague smallholder farmers, processing, preservation and marketing of their produce are chief on the list. Most women farmers are limited to producing for bulk domestic consumption because of a lack of preservation, processing and marketing tools and machinery. KIND seeks to remedy this in the Owode-Ketu community of Ogun State.
Cassava, one of the wildly gown tubers crops in Nigeria, is a staple in communities all over the country. Because of the lack of storage and processing, the potential of the cassava plant is not fully realized in many agricultural communities in Nigeria.
To help utilize this potential, a cassava processing factory was built in the Owode-Ketu community in 2017. This factory has the capacity to produce 2 tonnes of garri per day (40 bags of 50kg). This is a big improvement from the manual processing where each farmer usually produced 50kg per month.
With this factory, KIND seeks to help the women farmers with the processing of the cassava tubers into different by-products like Garri, Fufu, Cassava Flour, etc, and also train these farmers in ways to market and preserve their products.
The cassava processing factory is positioned to be a profit-making venture that provide funds to run itself in the near future and also provide profits for the women of the community. It is a self-sustaining profit-making venture that will improve the agriculture value chain, provide food security, income for farmers and other members of the community, and even basic amenities.
In addition to running the factory, KIND is also embarking on a training program for the women farmers and other members of the association. The program aims to increase the competitiveness of these women farmers and entrepreneurs through trainings and capacity building sessions.
This project, thus, will help to improve food security in the community and the state at large. It will also help to impart valuable knowledge to the women farmers that will help them to grow their agri-business. The project, through the provision of a generator, will also help to provide basic amenities for the immediate members of the community. It is also a means to provide jobs for the operators of the factory, who are members of the community.
The goals and objectives of the project is to enable sustainable improvement of food security, income and livelihood of the women farmers, and strengthen the agricultural value chain of the Owode-Ketu community.
The project also aims to help the women of the Owode-Ketu community to improve the processing of their cassava by-produce by empowering them with modern machinery; and to help them reduce post-harvest losses by linking smallholder farmers to the processing center.