Building smallholder farmer resilience and reducing vulnerability in Kaduna State through strengthened market participation
Climatic fluctuation is putting Nigeria’s agriculture system under serious threat and stress. The most devastating impacts of climate change in northern Nigeria include frequent drought and severe floods thereby affecting agricultural productivity and food security. A large proportion of smallholder farmers (75%) in the Kaduna state of Nigeria are not able to attain higher yields and earn higher incomes due to several challenges; infertile soils due to soil mining; increasing infestation of crops by pests and diseases, increasing rural-urban migration, limited physical and natural resources such land, water or irrigation systems, little technical skills, and low managerial capacity and informal markets with their perennial problem of gluts. The wave of insecurity is compounding these challenges.
Although the yields of maize, rice, and soybean for AGRA participating farmers have increased due to an increase in fertilizer use and adoption of the use of improved varieties and the Farmer-Extension ratio improved greatly to 1:450 from 1:5600 through the CBA model. Despite all these achievements, there is a need to deepen and scale up to more farmers in the state. Kaduna state has a population of about 9 million people with 80% involved in farming.
This investment by AGRA and its PIATA partners plans to increase the production of maize, soybean, rice cowpea, and vegetables (tomatoes) in Kaduna state by doubling yields in new areas and sustaining yield for existing farmers. The investment specifically demonstrates, in practical terms, how agriculture value chains can integrate both business sustainability and resilience in food systems. Climate change and market resilience will be addressed through a consortia approach that addresses the seeds used by the farmers, proper use of manure and fertilizer, water management practices through GAP, proper use of crop protection chemicals, and postharvest management of produce harvested and selling through stable structured markets including SMEs strengthening. A model climate-smart village will be established through a participatory approach to showcase best practices for the adoption of climate-smart technologies for upscaling in the state. In addition to demonstrations, reports from this investment will document key lessons, success and/or failure factors, and briefs for policy and decision-makers, investment developers, funding agencies, and the private sector.
The Investment will be building 300,000 smallholder farmers’ Resilience, reducing their vulnerability, and Mainstreaming Gender in the Maize-Rice-Soybean, Cowpea, and Vegetable Value Chains of Kaduna State. Directly, 200 extension agents, 1000 community-based agents, 300 Agro-dealers 300,000 smallholder farmers, 34 Off-takers, 2 Large traders and 3 Financial institutions would be engaged.