IFAD Invests $604.6m In Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector, Benefiting Over 5 Million People
By Abdulkareem Haruna
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced that it has invested $604.6 million in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, providing support to farmers and facilitating sustainable agricultural development
The investment was made through domestic and international co-financing between 2016 and 2023.
According to Mr. Abdulhameed Girai, the Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser, FGN/CPAT-Country Programme Advisory Team, over 5 million people across 28 states of Nigeria have benefited from viable interventions initiated by the program. The beneficiaries were under IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) in the past seven years.
Speaking at a two-day regional consultative workshop for Nigeria’s 2024-2029 project in Maiduguri, Mr. Girai highlighted some of the programs that IFAD has supported, including the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme (LIFE-ND), and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs).
He added that the beneficiaries had also benefited from other IFAD interventions such as Creating Employment Opportunities for Rural Youths in Africa and support to integrate agribusiness hubs in Nigeria.
“Youth Empowerment in Agri-Business and Sustainable Agriculture Projects (YEASA), Promoting Sustainable Cage Agriculture in West Africa (proSCAWA) as well as Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria towards achieving zero hunger initiative.
“FGN/IFAD projects have supported and strengthened 4,464 farmer organizations; 51,415 rural producers; 3,761 marketing groups; 240 Community Development Associations (CDAs) and 138 Financial Saving Associations (FSAs),” he said.
Mr. Girai stressed the workshop aimed to interact and get feedback from stakeholders, government officials, farmers, and youths on how to improve the following program for 2024-2029. He added that the feedback would help IFAD to identify critical areas where support is needed and to design more effective interventions.
In his contribution, Mr. Yusuf Halliru, IFAD’s Financial Inclusion Specialist, said the exercise was designed to ensure that the following program phase is more inclusive and reaches more people. He stressed the importance of financial inclusion in ensuring that smallholder farmers have access to credit and other financial services that can help them grow their businesses.
Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, State Governments, civil society organizations, and private sector players in the agricultural value chain also attended the workshop.
IFAD’s investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector is aimed at addressing the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and ensuring food security in the country. By providing viable interventions and support to farmers, IFAD aims to encourage sustainable agricultural development and create opportunities for rural communities.
The program has significantly impacted the country, with over 5 million people benefiting from its interventions. The next phase of the program, which will cover 2024-2029, is expected to build on this success and reach even more people.
IFAD is committed to working with the Nigerian government, farmers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the next phase of the program is more inclusive, effective, and sustainable. With continued investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, IFAD hopes to help the country achieve its goal of food security and economic development.