The partnerships catalysed by IITA’s Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialisation (ATTC) initiative continue to grow from strength to strength. Focus is on Jigawa State, where a ground-breaking groundnut development is underway through a partnership brokered by ATTC in 2017 that is now being managed by Harvestfield Industries Limited, the appointed manufacturer and distributor of Aflasafe in Nigeria. And now, as part of its business-to-business engagements in growing and expanding the market for Aflasafe, Harvestfield is working closely with yet another private-sector partner – Olam.
ATTC in conjunction with Harvestfield and Olam organised joint agribusiness meetings and trainings in June for Jigawa State extension agents, Harvestfield sales representatives and lead farmers heading various clusters. The meetings and training were held in each of the State’s four zones reaching a total of 246 people (comprising farmer leaders and extension officers) who are potential change agents. Olam and participating farmers reached agreement on Aflasafe provision (combined total of 30.5 tonnes), preferred groundnut varieties, aflatoxin threshold (no more than 20 parts per billion) and groundnut pricing premium and other incentives.
The envisioned step-down training has now kicked into gear, with Harvestfield taking leadership. The training was delivered by Harvestfield Technical Sales Representative and was mainly in Hausa. Key training aids were the Hausa versions of the video and leaflet on how to use Aflasafe, both produced by ATTC and reproduced by Harvestfield for the events. All the participants received copies of the leaflet and video, which they will use to reach the farmers in their clusters.
Olam will undertake Aflasafe distribution, for which more than 2,000 copies of the leaflet have been made available to support effective product distribution, by ensuring that product and instructions go hand-in-hand.
We anticipate having more of these niched engagements with the private sector as knowledge of – and interest in – Aflasafe increases, in terms of how Aflasafe can improve the bottom line for the private sector.