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Nigeria

11

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 1,136.86 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 510.56 million

Total IFAD financing

3,912,180

Households impacted


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The Context

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country with 182 million inhabitants and an annual growth rate of 3 per cent. Fifty-nine per cent,  approximately 105 million Nigerians, are under the age of 35.

Now Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria covers 92.4 million hectares and 53 per cent of the population lives in rural areas. GDP growth averaged 3.8 per cent a year from 2009 to 2014 as Nigeria became a middle-income country.

However, amid falling oil prices, security risks and policy uncertainty, growth subsequently slowed sharply. The Government now wants to reduce oil dependency and diversify growth.

Poverty is especially severe in rural areas, at 44.9 per cent.  Young people lack economic opportunities and sporadic civil unrest worsens poverty and malnutrition.

Poor rural women and men depend on agriculture: 70 per cent of rural people are subsistence smallholder farmers, who produce some 90 per cent of Nigeria's food on un-irrigated plots wholly dependent on rainfall.

Agriculture generated 21 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, but is underdeveloped because of numerous impediments. Only 46 per cent of arable land is cultivated. Farmers have no title to 95 per cent of agricultural land, so are impeded from obtaining finance or investing in improvements. Poor rural roads undermines farm profitability, increases waste, and impedes access to markets, inputs, equipment and new technology. Rural schools, healthcare and clean water supplies are inadequate. Land degradation and erosion arising from over-cultivation, deforestation and overgrazing are increasing, and drought has become common in the north.

The Strategy

Since 1985, IFAD has been Nigeria's trusted partner for reducing rural poverty.

IFAD loans help improve outreach and its impact, thanks to our expertise in building the capacity, productivity and market participation of rural people.

In line with IFAD's Strategic Framework 2016-2025, IFAD's approach encourages involvement in reducing rural poverty at all levels of government; sets up and strengthens farmers’ organizations; and supports empowerment of poor rural people, especially women and young people.

IFAD's current strategy, in agreement with the Nigerian government covers the period 2016-2021. The goal is a rural economy in which those we help can benefit from economic growth, in line with two strategic objectives:

  • developing the sustainable, climate-resilient economic and financial inclusion of young people in profitable agribusiness; and
  • strengthening institutions at state and community levels to work with private companies in key value chains.

IFAD continues to partner with the Nigerian Government in building rural institutions, establishing community-driven development initiatives, developing profitable smallholder agri-businesses, and pursuing financial inclusion for rural poor households.

Country Facts

  • Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with 182 million inhabitants, growing by 3 per cent per year.
  • Much of the population is young, with approximately 105 million (59 per cent) under the age of 35.
  • The country covers 92.4 million hectares, and 53 per cent of the population lives in rural areas.
  • Agriculture generated 21 per cent of Nigeria's GDP in 2015, and 70 per cent of rural dwellers are subsistence smallholders.
  • Since 1985, IFAD has invested a total of US$317.6 million in ten projects and programmes in Nigeria, benefiting more than 3,700,000 households. 

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Country documents

Federal Republic of Nigeria Country strategic opportunities programme

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: West and Central Africa

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Related news

Mobile phones to help 1.7 million small-scale farmers increase production during COVID-19 economic slowdown

August 2020 - NEWS
Some 1.7 million small-scale farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan will soon receive personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones as a means to improve their incomes, food security and resilience to economic shocks caused by COVID-19, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today. 

Independent evaluation shows IFAD-supported operations in Nigeria improve the livelihoods of rural poor people

April 2016 - NEWS
Development projects supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Nigeria have been effective in improving the livelihoods of rural poor people and strengthening their food production systems in a number of impoverished, remote communities, according to findings presented today in Abuja by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD.

Nigeria and United Nations agency to discuss ways to boost agricultural development

April 2016 - NEWS
29 March 2016 –The Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will present the conclusions of an independent

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Related stories

Seeds to riches: The story of a 29-year-old millionaire

September 2020 - STORY
Sumaka Japhet is a young rice seed cultivator and agricultural entrepreneur. We had heard of his success and local fame as a millionaire – and during one of our field visits, we travelled a long and bumpy road to meet him.

Empowering and protecting rural women in the time of coronavirus

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The April morning sun beats down on Kontagora, a lively market town in central Nigeria. Generators hum as milling machines husk the brown bran from rice grains, revealing glistening white kernels. COVID-19 is on everybody’s mind. But the thriving Tudun Wada South Rice Processors women’s cooperative is open for business.

The impact of a value chain approach in Nigeria

April 2019 - PHOTO

The IFAD-funded Value Chain Development Programme in Nigeria assists cassava and rice smallholder farmers through a value chain approach to enhance productivity, promote agro-processing and increased access to markets. The programme aims to transform the agricultural sector of rural Nigeria by achieving food security, increasing incomes and creating new employment opportunities.

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Related publications

Resilient Food Systems 2018-2019 Annual Report

March 2020
Discover how the Resilient Food Systems programme is enhancing long-term sustainability and resilience for food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Developing nutrition-sensitive value chains in Nigeria

April 2018
With funding from the German government, IFAD recently carried out a set of studies in Nigeria and Indonesia to determine how to
design nutrition-sensitive value chain (NSVC) projects for smallholders. Such projects seek to shape thedevelopment of value chains for
nutritious commodities in ways that are likely to address nutrition problems.

Nigeria IAP factsheet

June 2017
The Integrated Approach Programme on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa targets agro-ecological systems where the need to enhance food security is directly linked to opportunities for generating local and global environmental benefits. 

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Related videos

Nigeria: From Rice to Riches

October 2020 - VIDEO
On 1 October 2020, the UN marks 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a blueprint to advance women’s rights. But according to the Gender Equality report there’s still a long way to go.