Programme area: Six states were selected for programme implementation: Anambra, Taraba, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger and Ogun. A total of 20 Local Government Areas will be targeted.

Target group: Poor rural households engaged in the cassava and rice value chains are the primary target group, including smallholder farmers cultivating up to five hectares of land, small-scale processors and traders. The entry point will be through organized groups of producers and processors, with particular attention to both women and youth groups. It is expected that the programme will benefit 17,480 households directly and reach 22,000 indirect household beneficiaries.

Programme objectives: The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to reduce rural poverty and to achieve accelerated economic growth. The specific programme development objective is that the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in the targeted LGAs are enhanced on a sustainable basis.

Programme description: The mix of activities to be implemented will be determined through a participatory and demand-driven process, and will take consideration of priority needs on the one hand, whilst accounting for implementation readiness and capacities on the other. The programme’s components have been designed to be complementary and mutually reinforcing. Besides programme coordination and management, the programme revolves around two operational components:

  • Agricultural Market Development. The aim of this component is to enhance the profitability of smallholder farmers and small/medium-scale agro-processors by improving their access to markets and their capacity to add value to locally produced raw materials.
  • Smallholder Productivity Enhancement. The main objective of this component is to enhance smallholder farmer productivity on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis. Outcomes from this component, in the form of increased volume and quality of marketable produce, feed directly into the Agricultural Market Development Component.

Moreover, the programme will assist in value chain policy development under the Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda by providing financing support for two years to the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council for technical advisors.

Important features: the Nigeria Results-Based Country Strategic Opportunities Programme 2010-2015 was conceived following lessons learned and Country Programme Evaluation recommendations directing IFAD to focus its interventions on the agricultural sector, with emphasis on enhancing productivity and access to markets. In close alignment with evolving government strategy and policy, the programme is well anchored in government’s vision for agricultural development through the adoption of a commodity value chain approach, as articulated in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. It is also consistent with strategies set out in the National Agricultural Investment Plan and other key sector strategies promoting food security and rural development. Based on government priorities as well as market analysis and opportunities, the programme will focus on addressing constraints along the cassava and rice value chains; IFAD’s support will be support the government and its development partners in laying a strong foundation and enabling environment for a much longer term strategy of value chain development. The programme recognizes the importance of maximizing the opportunity to link cassava and rice smallholder farmers to markets, and ensuring complementarity of activities. In addition, the programme will apply the Gender Action Learning System to provide a community-led empowerment methodology, strengthening communication and win-win collaboration.

Potential cofinanciers and domestic contribution: The Federal Government will finance expenses amounting to US$ 12.2 million. State Governments will finance office space and maintenance, and Local Governments will finance salaries of staff involved in supervision of infrastructure, the Liaison Officers and office space and maintenance (US$ 3.4 million). Beneficiaries will contribute US$ 8.1 million.

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