Not a few people are excited to leave 2020 behind – once and for all, considering the huge losses and distortions of life’s rhythms – all occasioned by a devastating global pandemic. But we wanted to take a moment to access how we fared in some of our core duties of providing technical assistance, business support, enterprise management and market access services to our agricultural and agro-allied cooperatives and producer groups in 2020. With key indices like growth facilitation, capacity development and strengthening, entrenchment of accountability and project sustainability, we gathered some feedback from grant beneficiaries on the contributions of DDI, highlighting how that impacted on their project implementation in 2020.
1. “In 2020, DDI has continued in supporting us with the design, planning and implementation and monitoring of our dairy farming and value addition project. DDI once again, acquainted us with the timeless principles of cooperation especially as it affects the promotion of the values of contribution, mutual support and self-help. Also, with the guidance of DDI, we now have a functional office, up-to-date documentation of our daily activities, and proper book-keeping. Above all, DDI has proven to be always reachable to answer all our questions. We remain grateful for the support of DDI.” – Ahmed Umar Ambursa, Secretary-General, Gaskiya Dairy Farmers Cooperative Association (GDFCA), Ambursa, Kebbi State
2. “It was a great time with DDI in 2020 as our group experienced the highest record in our history. With the technical support and guidance provided by DDI, our cooperative group recorded increased yield in 2020 – harvesting over 1000 bags (100kg each) of sorghum and received (from the sales of sorghum) a net profit of N2.5 Million. Learnings from the various training sessions also provided by DDI in 2020 have resulted in a better working relationship with members of our group and the community at large. We are grateful for the support of DDI.” – Ibrahim Abubakar, General Business Manager, Anguwan Akawu Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Limited Ikara, Kaduna
3. “As farmers, we require not only grants and loans but also technical support and guidance to maximize the use of the funds. In 2020, DDI, through several workshops, training sessions, and monitoring visits, etc., did not relent in the provision of technical assistance in the implementation of our Agriculture activities as well as the modalities for utilization of our revolving loan funds. Also, amid the pandemic, DDI supported us with timely COVID-19 prevention guidelines to help keep safe and curb community transmission of the virus. We are extremely grateful for this.” – Umaru Yusha'u, Chairman, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Anguwar Sarki Dorayi Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Dorayi, Makarfi Local Government Area, Kaduna State.
4. “Over the years, we have come to realize that farmers don’t just need loans and grants; they equally need a lot of handholding and guidance to maximize the funds. This is what DDI has done for us in 2020. Through several workshops, training, visits, etc., DDI has continuously provided technical assistance in the design, planning and implementation of our Agriculture and Value Addition Rice Production/Multiplication Project. Under DDI’s supervision in 2020, AVAMCU recorded great strides. DDI taught us effective use of resources, while supporting us to successfully launched AVAMCU Rice Brand into the market, and during the establishment of our modern rice mill. In 2020, DDI also helped in building the capacity of our members as regards good agricultural practices in rice production and processing as well as quality record keeping. DDI has continued to support us even after project close-out. We are extremely grateful for this.” – Udo Okon Umoren, President, Agriculture & Value Addition Multi-Purpose Co-Operative Union (AVAMCU) Ltd, OBAN/AWI, AKAMKPA LGA, Rivers State
5. “In 2020, DDI, as usual, supported us in planning and implementing our dairy production project; provided technical support in recruitment of staff for our various affiliate cooperative groups, conducted workshop for us on effective communication and report writing, and equipped us with relevant monitoring and evaluation skills. – through periodic training sessions and monitoring visits. We are extremely grateful for this and want to be with DDI for a long time.” – Rilwanu Abdullahi Zagga, Manager, Birgin Jigawa Dairy Farmers Cooperative Association, Suru LGA, Kebbi State.
6. “In 2020, DDI provided guidance and technical assistance to our cooperative group, more especially in the areas of record keeping, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – via a series of training sessions including Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) training and Group Dynamic and Leadership Training (GDLT). DDI also equipped us with skills for adequate record keeping and report writing, while also engendering behavioural change among our members. We are indeed incredibly grateful to DDI for the support.” – Isiyaku Isah, Business Manager, Dankwalli Cluster Rice Farmers Cooperative Association, Argungu, Kebbi State.
7. “As groundnut farmers, processors, and sellers, we benefitted a lot from DDI’s handholding, technical assistance and mentoring in 2020, which enabled us to maximize the funds given to us by USADF. As a result of this support, we were able to reach the expected targets for the year. We are also assured of DDI’s support even after the end of the project. We are extremely grateful for this.” Alh. Abdullahi AKY, President, Dawanau Group Farmers’ Cooperative Association (DGFCA), Yauri, Kebbi State.
8. “In 2020, DDI continued with his habit of assisting producer groups and cooperatives in various capacities. Specifically, DDI provided support to us in 2020 by periodic and timely monitoring of our activities, linking us with new and profitable markets for our farm produce and assisting in finding a solution to the challenges that befell us by the onset of coronavirus, by helping us to maximize the Covid-19 assistance fund given to us by the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF). We appreciate your good work and that of ADF.” – Ibrahim Muhammad Kiru, Chairman, Kiru II Fadama Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited, Kiru LGA, Kano State
9. “In 2020, our cooperative group enjoyed the support of DDI, especially in training and mentoring of our members, as well as supervisory visits, which resulted in the development of the capacity and skills of our management staff and members. In addition to the COVID-19 assistance fund from USADF, this support from DDI was largely responsible for the successes we recorded. For instance, the training on financial management has helped to give our group a more organized structure.” – Zainab A. Koko, Chairperson, Sangara Agro-Allied Producers and Marketers Cooperative Association, Koko/Besse LGA, Kebbi State