Setting up self-help groups in Nigeria
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CTA. 2002. Setting up self-help groups in Nigeria. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57328
A government extension programme in Nigeria is helping young people to set up self-help groups. Through these young people become engaged in a variety of income-generating activities, including agriculture and food processing. The report includes comments from a member of the extension service, and one of the group members.
Setting up self-help groups in Nigeria CUE: In Nigeria, as in other parts of Africa, there has been in recent years, a huge drift of people from rural to urban areas. Young people in particular are moving in search of amenities like piped water and electricity, and in the hope of finding work. This movement is having negative effects, both by putting more pressure on the cities, and by draining rural areas of their most productive members. To address the problem, the government in Nigeria, assisted by many non-government organisations, has implemented a campaign that is supporting young people in setting up self-help groups. Adamu Umar Kuyello spoke to Mrs Sara Auta of the Extension and Rural Youth programme, and to Yahaya Usman, a member of a youth organisation in Kaduna state, about the effectiveness of the programme. He began by asking Mrs Auta how the programme is dealing with the problem of rural-urban drift. IN: ?We have realised this problem ? OUT: ? more income for our benefit. DUR?N 4?01? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Yahaya Usman describing the success achieved by his self-help group in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Transcript Auta We have realised this problem. And the sole aim of this programme is to organise the youth into viable groups, so that they can get involved in productive activities that can make them reside in the rural areas, and use what they have, so that they can earn a living in the rural areas instead of moving to the cities, where there are no available white collar jobs. Kuyello Presently what are your various existing youth organisations? Auta Presently we have youth that are involved in farming. There are both dry season farming activities and wet season farming activities. When we organise them, we encourage them to pick an activity that they are already used to, and activity that they can handle without much problem or difficulty. We have youth groups that are involved in livestock production. We have youth groups that are involved in other income generating activities, like processing of fruits into different snacks and drinks, especially the women, the young girls. We don?t force them to do what we want them to do, but we make sure that we advise them on things that they can actually do, and see the gain, and see the profit, to earn an income so that they can be self reliant, instead of moving to the cities where there are no white collar jobs available for them. Kuyello Maybe you have one or two more words to add to these youth so that they can utilise any opportunity given to them? Auta The youth have the energy, they have the resources. And they are the ones that can actually move this country forward, if given the right guidance and the right opportunity. Usman We formed this organisation in the year 1991, eleven years ago. We had about thirty members when we formed this group, but now we are more than fifty. Kuyello What are some of the basic activities that you perform in your organisation? Usman My own, I belong to a maize group which we started in 1996 with the Sasakawa project. Formerly we were planting maize at random, with large spacing so when this project came now, we were told that the spacing should be limited to such a number, and ridging should be closer. So thereby we gain a lot of ridges, and a lot of stands in our maize plots. Formerly we used to get about 15 bags per hectare, but when this project started we getting around not less than thirty to forty bags per hectare, which doubled the ration of what we were getting before. And also in the dry season we go into dry season farming. Kuyello What types of crops do you plant in the dry season? Usman We plant tomato, onion, pepper, carrot, cabbage, lettuce, and cucumber. Kuyello All these types of activities are meant to prevent youth movement from the rural to the urban centres. How do you see this your organisation helping in this drive? Usman Well we do a large production now. We usually sell it out to the market, whereby we get a lot of money, and thereby we buy a lot of things for the incoming dry season, and also, even some of us buy implements, machines and all these things, which will prevent us from going to the urban centres. Kuyello And probably you would like to have a word or two for the other youth organisations? Usman They should try to work hard, and look at avenues whereby they can go into more production of this, like our maize project that we are doing now. More youth should come in, because at least now when you go to the urban centre there aren?t any white collar jobs, so it is better for us to go into all this production so that we can get more income for our benefit. End of tape.