1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role in DCRFCA?

My name is Abubakar Adamu, born in Argungu, Kebbi State, Nigeria on February 10, 1967. My main occupation is rice farming, which I have been doing for 30 years, both in the wet and dry seasons. Initially, before the intervention of USADF, I was an average smallholder farmer producing rice just to cater for my family needs.

Gradually, we came up with the idea of joining together under one umbrella to form a cooperative to overcome major problems hindering us, such as sources of water for irrigation, inputs, and other agro-chemicals used for rice farming. My inspirational words, leadership skills, dedication, transparency, and commitment helped me bring farmers together to form the cooperative in 2012. In 2016, with the help of other executive members, I also partnered with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program (ATASP-1), which helped us construct a road to our farm site for easy transportation and conveyance of farm produce.

2. How did DCRFCA start, and what inspired the formation of this cooperative?

Dankwali Cluster Rice Farmers Cooperative Association (DCRFCA) was established in 2012 in Argungu Local Government Area of Kebbi State, Nigeria. The cluster was registered in 2016 to epitomize the power of collective action and strategic partnerships in transforming rice production. With a membership of 250 committed individuals, this cooperative has pioneered innovative approaches to enhance agricultural productivity, improve livelihoods, and foster sustainable development. It was established to overcome the problem of drilling boreholes, which is very difficult within the cluster due to the rocky nature of the basement. The first effort made by the cooperative was the creation of water canals from the main river to our respective farmlands. However, this idea was observed to be ineffective due to poor water conveyance efficiency, leading to the second idea of channeling the farmland with pipelines. The cooperative successfully laid pipes across the cluster, pumping water from the river using water pump machines, which serves as the only option for us to irrigate our crops.

3. How has DCRFCA contributed to the local community since its inception?

DCRFCA has contributed to the local community in several ways:

  • Provision of Employment: Through the cooperative farming activities, approximately 500-1000 people are hired to work on the farm and get paid on an hourly basis by cooperative members, thereby reducing the rate of unemployment within the community.
  • Benefiting from Mechanized Services: The acquisition of power tillers and threshers enabled members and non-members to access affordable mechanization services, reducing labor costs and increasing productivity.
  • Construction of Roads: With our partnership with ATASP, one kilometer of road was constructed for easy conveyance of farm produce for both members and non-members within the community.
  • Mentorship Support: The cooperative provides mentorship support to the local community, with the cooperative farm serving as a model where other farmers from neighboring communities learn new farming techniques, especially on good agronomic practices.

4. Share a success story of how DCRFCA has positively impacted the life of members

A core tenet of Dankwali Rice Farmers Cooperative Association’s success lies in its dedication to member welfare and community prosperity. The cooperative’s input distribution and profit-sharing mechanism serve as a powerful incentive for members to actively participate and contribute to collective endeavors. By distributing a portion of the profits generated, the cooperative not only improves the living standards of its members but also fosters a sense of ownership and belonging within the community. Due to the increase in yield and income of individual members, the overall standard of living has improved. Currently, most of our members can sponsor their children to study even up to the university level.


5. How is DCRFCA contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in terms of economic growth and sustainability?

The cooperative promotes self-dependency among members through its revolving loan, input distribution, and profit-sharing mechanism. This has positively improved the standard of living for cooperative members and supports economic growth and sustainability

6. What sustainable farming practices does DCRFCA promote among its members?

Through its partnership with USADF, the cooperative received a series of training and mentorship on rice production. As a result, cooperative members have adopted good agronomic practices (GAP).

7. What are some of the biggest challenges that DCRFCA members face in rice production and marketing, and how has the cooperative helped address these challenges?

The cooperative members face several challenges:

  • Problem of Water for Irrigation: Initially, members faced a problem of water for irrigation due to the rocky nature of the basement. The cooperative addressed this by laying pipes across the cluster.
  • Inadequate Farm Input: With the intervention of USADF, the cooperative tackled this problem.
  • Rapid Increases in Farm Input Prices: Prices of farm inputs such as fertilizer, seed, herbicides, pesticides, and fuel have rapidly increased.
  • Pest Attacks: Seasonal pest attacks, especially by quelea birds, seriously destroy and reduce farmers’ yield, which is beyond farmers’ control.

8. How has the partnership with USADF and DDI helped in building the capacity of DCRFCA members?

This partnership has been instrumental by providing financial and technical support, equipping members with essential skills and knowledge through a series of outreach activities, including demonstrations, GAP training, processing training, seed production training, entrepreneurship and business management training, and product diversification training. These initiatives have not only enhanced farming techniques but also diversified revenue streams, ensuring resilience in the face of challenges.

9. How does DCRFCA foster a sense of community and cooperation among its members?

DCRFCA fosters a sense of community and cooperation among its members through honesty, trust, transparency, and financial discipline.


10. On this International Day of Cooperatives, what message would you like to share with other cooperatives and the wider community?

I advocate for cooperative farming because the journey of Dankwali Rice Farmers Cooperative Association exemplifies the transformative impact of collective action, strategic partnerships, and innovative approaches to agricultural development. Through its commitment to empowerment, sustainability, and community welfare, the cooperative has achieved remarkable success and inspired a new generation of farmers across the state. As agricultural stakeholders continue to work towards a more inclusive and resilient sector, the story of Dankwali Rice Farmers Cooperative Association stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, determination, and vision in shaping a brighter future for rural communities. We sincerely express our appreciation and gratitude to USADF and DDI for their support and technical assistance, which have lifted us from scratch to our current inspiring and motivating position, not only in Kebbi State but across the whole nation.