WOFAN brief profile and capacity statement
Brief History of WOFAN
 
Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) was established in June 1993
i.                    Was incorporated with the Kano state Government as a community Development Association in 1995 and later
ii.                  Registered with the corporate affairs commission in 2004. With its headquarters in Kano.
iii.               WOFAN partners and works with a mobilized, registered multipurpose cooperatives, CBOS, community service groups, private sectors, research institutions towards achieving a holistic development of the people.
iv.                In 2017 WOFAN’s application to graduate to “Women Empowerment Foundation” received the legal registration of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria. The new outfit supports WOFAN’s strides in making a difference in making development issues people and community owned with partnership and collaboration with all arms of governments, the private sector, NGOs, traditional and community structures as well as   and donor agencies. This extra effort is expected to bring additional complementary strengths and shared responsibilities to work toward common goals of the less privileged, disadvantaged and the voiceless to make them scale up their enterprise skills and become managers of their own development.
Presently, WOFAN has clusters of women, men and youth groups located in many local government areas (LGAs) across 7Northern States have formed the collative working groups of WOFAN of which each group has 20-30 members
Primary Activities
WOFAN has several core activities it pursues in support of its mission statement, goal and objectives. These areas:
Training its target groups across a wide range of matters, including: leadership development, Advocacy, business management, agriculture, value chain & food processing, improved family nutrition, food preservation, water and soil conservation, sustainable environment & climate change adaptation, improved agricultural technology & health awareness.
 
Approach
WOFAN is participatory and responsive in its approach. It works at the community level, with self – selection groups.
WOFAN through the use of PRA/PLA exercise, assists rural groups to identify their needs and draw up action plans for intervention. Each group chooses its own leaders, including president, secretary and treasurer, and it is responsible for implementing WOFAN-assisted projects. In each community, there are at least two committees as explained below under management and organizational structure.
Membership
Membership in WOFAN is open to individuals and groups who believe in the organization’s vision, goal and objectives and are willing to work together for their own development.

 

WOFAN generally involves the household in its activities with the aim of improving gender relations by encouraging the involvement of men and women in project intervention at all levels. Within WOFAN, groups form themselves, ranging in size from 10 to 30.  The groups which are mainly  unisex with members involved  in similar economic activities started with 50 groups as of  1998, 150 groups in 2000, expanded to 250 groups in 2003, 500 groups in 2009 when it commenced the USAID water project and has attained a level of 1500 functional groups in 5 Northern states of Nigeria by 2015.  Presently, the 1500 rural groups have about 75% as  women groups and 25% are  male  and youth groups, registered with WOFAN and their various state cooperatives or community development units of their LGAs. 
 

 

wofan tauraruwa rice

 

To benefit from the services of WOFAN, a community group must be together for a minimum of six months and demonstrate good leadership and unity within themselves. During this period, group members would have undergone some training to build their capacity.
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Though WOFAN’s strength is in building the capacities of the rural women groups, 25% of its support goes to supporting, leadership and group dynamics, support to  vulnerable groups and children as well as youth and girls child oriented organizations,  to  assist them take lead on issues that affect them and improve their  wellbeing in addition to building good gender relations to promote  economic and political empowerment.
 
WOFAN groups are mostly illiterates who are helped to attain literacy during the course of its projects with them. In recognition of this, WOFAN has designed a curriculum called the “community women curriculum” which is a functional literacy program to be completed within two years. Also included in this is training on basic health issues, vocational/ skills acquisition, agriculture and nutrition trainings,   good governance, economic empowerment and information and communication management.
 
Membership in WOFAN is open to individuals and groups who believe in the organization’s vision, goal and objectives and are willing to work together for their own development.
WOFAN generally involves the household in its activities with the aim of improving gender relations by encouraging the involvement of men and women in project intervention at all levels. Within WOFAN, groups form themselves, ranging in size from 10 to 30. The groups which are mainly unisex with members involved in similar economic activities started with 50 groups as of 1998, 150 groups in 2000, expanded to 250 groups in 2003, 500 groups in 2009 when it commenced the USAID water project and has attained a level of 3500 functional groups of 30 members each in 5 Northern states of Nigeria by 2017.
 Presently, the groups have scaled up to 4500 with the Rice value chain expansion project implemented across 7 states, including the Food and Nutrition security project funded by UNDP-GEF-FGN that targets 42,000 beneficiaries of which 75% are women groups and 25% are male and youth groups. They are all legally registered with the state government and with WOFAN as well as community development units of their LGAs.
To benefit from the services of WOFAN, a community group must be together for a minimum of six months and demonstrate good leadership and unity within themselves. During this period, group members would have undergone some training to build their capacity.
Though WOFAN’s strength is in building the capacities of the rural women groups, 25% of its support goes to supporting, leadership, group dynamics, support to vulnerable groups including issues of children malnutrition, child’s rights. WOFAN also partners with youth’s and girls child-oriented organizations, to assist them lead on issues that affect them and improve their wellbeing in addition to building good gender relations to promote economic and political empowerment.
 
 
WOFAN especially prioritizes the following   values of high importance.
(a) Equity: Being sensitive and committed to reduce all forms of unawareness, discrimination with focus on the poor family economic and nutrition security for the disadvantaged and less privileged.
(b) Participatory processes: Having faith in people’s capacities and their institutions and building on such capacities for their own development
(c) Accountability: Accountability with transparency
(d) Collaboration: Developing synergies through networking, Team work and striving for quality, innovation, diversity and striving for success and quality with all sectors of relevant stakeholders ranging from private sectors, public, community and agencies
 
Key activity areas
i.                   Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Processing: Training and Support in:
·        Agriculture (all sectors)
·        Food processing and value addition
·        Preservation, storage, diversification, marketing and linkages to financial institutions
·        Improved technology and soil management/ conservation
·        Water access, management and conservation
·        Climate change adaptation and waste management strategies
 
iv.       Health Issues, Education and Childcare Development:
·        Health and nutrition talks
·        Sanitation
·        Childcare development
·        Reproductive health
 
ii.                 Waterborne diseases, plants and animal disease outbreaks, emergencies
Reduction and Prevention:
·        Create awareness.
·        Advocacy
·        Care and support
·        Stigma discrimination
·        Gender, HIV and livelihood improvement matters
Our strategy:
 
·        Pro-poor growth strategy.
·        Sustainable livelihoods that improve nutrition and income strategy.
·         Rights and empowerment strategy 
·        Resources and redistribution strategy.
 
The organization’s values are focused on poverty reduction strategies in a responsive and participatory manner as well as functional literacy   /capacity building process towards achieving enhanced livelihoods, health, and governance, with capacity development as a cross-cutting issue.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some of WOFAN’s Past activities:
-         WOFAN implemented the Coca Cola/USAID, Water and Development Alliance (WADA)’s access to water and sanitation services project across 13 local government areas (LGAs) of Kano State in 2009. This led to a scale up WASH project between 2010 and 2014 supported by USAID-Nigeria, reaching up to 33,000 households in Kano, Bauchi and Sokoto states.
 
-         WOFAN also partnered with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in seed multiplication, climate-smart adaptation projects promoting cowpea, sorghum, etc in 3 Northern states, reaching 220,000 beneficiaries from 2011- 2013 under the USAID Feed the Future project.
 
-         From 2015 -WOFAN commenced mobilization of 4 Fulani communities to understand community development activities and re-structure their system in shaping the education and economic empowerment of women and youths beyond grazing of livestock
 
-         2017- WOFAN constructed 2 blocks of classroom, constructed boreholes and mobilized 300 Fulani women and youth groups in GWARZO LGA, targeting over 1800 members
 
-         WOFAN in 2017, Commenced Nutrition awareness/ growth Monitoring for under 5years and agricultural diversification in Rural communities of Kano state towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2(SDG2). The project is using the WOFAN supported approved Nutrition Monitoring Wheel, which has been patented and accepted for use. It has been used for the classification of malnutrition into various degrees of Stunted, Wasted and Malnourished for appropriate nutritional intervention
 
 
-         With support from the German Cooperation Office (GIZ), promoted water management in improved rice production and processing for over 12,000 male farmers and female processors in Kano State from 2015 to 2016,
-         SCALING up to 18,000 out growers and processors in a Rice Expansion initiative from 2016- March 2018.
-         Linking 18,000 women in the rice value chain processing to markets and off-takers including supporting the Contract farming system.2016-2018.
-         WOFAN with UNDP/GEF - from 2018 is building capacity of 28 communities in integrated Crop and livestock production. Project will concentrate on Integrated Livestock Management and Feeding Systems
 
-         Profitable Uses of Agro-Residue and Recycling in Integrated Farming
- The most popular animals to be raised by families, in addition to farming and especially by women are:
• Cattle
• Ruminants (goats and sheep)
• Poultry
Areas of attention will include.
1.     Feeds for livestock from various sources and the safety in the farming business.
2.     Types of feeds that can be sourced from the farm, thereby reducing cost of rearing livestock because of combining farming with livestock management.
3.     Uses of agro-residue to increase family income and effective uses of
• Roughages
• Silages
• Root crops
• Straw and hulls
• Molasses
• Concentrates
Future of WOFAN- 2018 to 2020
To develop a project which will address Gaps in Agric Value chain, Contract Farming and Linkages to Markets in integrated farming system and concretize working relationships between farmers and herds men.
- Use of Hydrophobics system in growing fodder for livestock and rice seedlings by women groups   to increase production and reduce grazing
- Assist farmers, herds men and processors on the one hand and off-takers on the other hand, develop and implement a win-win contract.
WOFAN is of the belief that when farmers and processors are supported to improve output, the challenges of finding ready markets for the increased output due to many factors becomes an issue which was outlined for way forward in the integrated farming system.
- WOFAN will continue to mobilize women to monitor their economic and nutrition values to proffer business management skills and dietary interventions to improve their wellbeing.
 
-         WOFAN projects identify and work with “influencers and supporters” at the state and local government levels to garner advocacy, policy and government support for its project which is an important component of the national policy to promote SDG2.
-         WOFAN projects have strong social linkages and marketing elements with private sector, financial institutions, CSOs and standards organizations to scale up businesses and participation of women in economic activities, community decision making.
Sustainability strategy:
-         The main sustainability strategy of WOFAN is encouraging ownership of both the soft and hardware components of the project by benefiting communities through the introduction of community self-help concepts, scaling up agriculture into profitable ventures through water and agricultural management, linkages to markets and financial benefits and giving women and youths a voice and opportunity to self-reliance.
-         Community members are mobilized and trained to participate in all planning activities for project implementation and clear understanding of project tracking and evaluation.
-         Trained cooperative groups and peer leaders are trained to step-down training where applicable and become mentors and peer models to other community members, thereby scaling up and revolving the project initiative.
-         Community based group trained are supported to form a sustainable monitoring structure at community level. These groups (mainly women), will gradually take over the monitoring and management of their project facilities and services, thereby ensuring that the facilities and services continue beyond the lifespan of the project, on a sustainable, long term basis.