Ajase – Ipo sometimes spelt as Ajase Ipo and also known as Ajasse or Ajasepo, is one of the prominent towns in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. Ajasse ipo is located at Latitude: 8° 13′ 60 N, Longitude: 4° 49′ 0 E and situated in the northeastern part of Yoruba land in north-central Nigeria and consists of other different villages such as Eleyoka, Amberi, Falokun, Araromi etc. This town has over 100, 000 residents. Their major economic activity is farming and trading of maize, cassava, and rice. The town serves as major junction for all other major cities and towns in Kwara State, Nigeria including Ilorin (Kwara State capital), Omuaran, Offa and Igbaja.
Maize is the most abundant of their farm produce. They often have buyers purchase large quantities from neighboring communities and surrounding states for mainly the purposes of international export and brewery. The maize farmers face delay in delivering their maize output to buyers and many times cannot meet the demands because processing the maize into pallets manually takes days to be completed thereby making them loose customers. Customers also complain of sand and stone particles found in the maize processed manually which have been sold to them.
PROJECT SUMMARY This project works to construct a maize processing factory equipped with maize corn sheller machines to enable the farmers and traders of Ajase-Ipo, kwara state effectively and efficiently process their maize into tiny maize pallets, bag them and sell to hundreds of customers.
This project plans to construct a central maize processing factory to enable over 250 farmers’ process their maize into smaller pallets in a timely manner. The 250 farmers (70 % women) who are involved in maize farming come from far and near to make use of the only 2 maize corn shelling machine available in the entire community. This slows down process greatly and affects the economic development of the community.
The factory will be situated at a central place donated by the King of the community and equipped with 3 maize corn shelling machines and drying mats. An operator will be in charge of the factory processing the maize for the people using a small fee. The machine will also be made available for rent at a fee for farmers to take to their farms in the event they cannot afford to transport truckloads of corn to the factory. The maize peeling machines will enable them process larger quantities of maize which is cleaner hygienically and sand free to sell to their customers thereby making more money for themselves. This factory will provide revenue for the community from the daily small fees charged for service provided and from rentage of equipment. At an average, 200 farmers will make use of the factory and machine through rentage or payment of service in the interval of 3months (this number was gotten form the number of farmers who already queue up to use the only 1 available machine in the community). The Machines are rented at NGN 500. 00 for a day and the service is charged at very subsidized rate of NGN 150 per 50KG bag of maize (maize processed by the factory operator) and NGN 100 when processed by owner (As farmers will also be trained to use the machine themselves). If in the least, 100 farmers use the factory in the space of three months at self-service, processing only 50KG bag of maize (at NGN 100 per bag), a revenue of NGN 300, 000 thousand will be generated for the quarter.
This money will be used by the community to maintain the factory and subsequently, begin a loan program for the members of the community especially women. They will also meet other needs of the community, like setting up a local supermarket or construction of a bore-hole.
Empowered group of farmers who now have access to a maize processing factory where they can easily process and bag their produce at a low cost thereby saving more money and enabling them meet the market demands.
Income generation for the community to be used for other community development programs such as loan provision for women, construction of a community supermarket and a bore-hole. The community can then begin to save towards acquiring a tractor which is one of their major needs.
General economic prosperity and community wellbeing. The factory will enable the farmers process more / larger quantities of maize and in a timely manner enabling them to meet up deadlines and delivery to customers and thereby making more money than previously without the machines. This will keep them happy which will spread across their families and when more than 100 farmers are happy in one community it’ll ultimately affect the entire community. Economic prosperity will also stem from the income generated by the factory for the community.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
To promote the economic development of Ajase-Ipo community by harnessing their main economic resource which is maize, empowering the maize farmers and traders who are mostly women with training and machinery to efficiently process it in order to meet the daily demands of the market.
- To meet with local and traditional community leaders, trade and community associations to organize a community seminar/sensitization on opportunities in maize processing
- To build the capacity of 250 maize farmers and traders by training them on the maize value chain and effective use of the maize peeler machines.
- Engage with the maize peeler manufacturer and purchase 12 machines.
- To construct a factory where the maize peeling machines will be situated.
- To set up a leadership group that will man the activities of the factory and see to its daily operation
- To Handover factory in a brief ceremony
The project originally designed to be self-sustaining. The maize factory will generate revenue from which the factory will be maintained. This maintenance includes weekly machinery checkup and servicing to ensure they work properly and in good condition, diesel and petrol purchase, payment of salaries for the factory male operator, payment of stipends for women who assist in the factory to peel and bag the processed corn. The profit from the factory is saved in the bank account and will serve as back up money for expansion. The community will use it to start a loans program to give loans to other women in the community for small businesses. They will also use it to invest in other needs of the community such as constructing a bore-hole, building a community supermarket and begin to save towards purchasing a tractor.
Secondly, the community stake holders are actively engaged in the project. The Chieftaincy council of Ajasse-Ipo community which includes the Oba (king) and his council of Elders has agreed to donate a land space for the factory and to delegate an operator for the factory. The council have also committed to assist in overseeing the activities of the factory.
The First pilot of this project is underway as we are currently raising funds for its implementation.
The community of Ajasse-ipo has all the necessary dispensation for proper economic growth. The people are well informed and open to new ideas and infrastructure. The people are able to purchase the maize in large quantities and farmers are able to rent the equipment for maize processing. The project will foster inter and intra community trade and expose the community to international buyers. The visit of tourists from all over Nigeria will provide revenue for the community to be able to invest in other projects. Generally the activity will boost economic growth for the community and place them in a pedestal to serve as example.
Some of their socio economic and cultural activities include
Traditional festivals e.g Egungun festivals, Ogun festival etc, Moslem festivals e.g Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr celebrations Christianity festivals e.g Christmas, New year and Easter celebrations Ajasse-ipo day and Ita Oba attracts many indegenes to the town and it usually comes up 3 days after ileya (Eid Al-Adha). The Ita oba festival which is highly important as it attracts almost all the indigenes of Ajasse Ipo all over the world and neighboring communities with various activities such as traditional dance, competitions and relaxation
Their tourist attractions;
Egungun (Masquerade) festivals Odo Osin (River) which was thought to have been human before she turns to a river. The major source of the river is Ila-Orangun in Osun State. Oba Igba: A man who did not die but reduce to a day old baby size. Kept in a calabash, no one should look inside the calabash till date. Odu Ajasse Ipo Central Ifa temple Esu Afin Oba palace beautifully built and decorated by Ex-Governor of Kwara State “Governor Muhammed Lawal”.