INVESTORS AND PARTNERS
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) is a ministry of the Nigerian government that regulates agricultural research, agriculture and natural resources, forestry and veterinary research throughout Nigeria. FMARD on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), in February 2013, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This led to the development of the FMARD/SAA Extension Program in Nigeria (hereafter, referred to as the FMARD Program).
FMARD/SAA Extension Program in Nigeria
Project period: March 2014 – February 2017 (4 years)
State of Operation-2014: Benue, Cross-River, Katsina and Ogun State
Fund Amount: N 200,000,000 yearly
Goal: Improving the productivity of selected agricultural commodity value chains, and the livelihoods of households through the development of effective extension models
Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:
This partnership is to address the challenges of: absence of an agricultural extension policy, inadequate and poor quality of extension staff, inadequate and irregular funding, poor infrastructures and inadequate working tools for frontline extension staff, continued use of predominantly top-down, non-participatory, supply-driven extension approaches, poor targeting of women and youths and lack of synergy with other donor-supported projects. The FMARD is to provide SAA/SAFE the necessary financial and human resources and other logistic support as detailed in the log frames, work plans and budgets. The project took off in 2014 in 4 states indicated above. Some of the achievements during the first year of the project are:
- A total of 173 extension agents and 13,590 farmers have been directly trained on crop productivity enhancing technologies.
- Out of the 768 Management Training Plots (MTPs) proposed, 664 MTPs were successfully carried out.
- Farmer groups appreciated the prompt supply of inputs to them, and have caught up with the recommendations given to them on the establishment of the MTPs.
- Farmers accepted and adhered to almost all the new technologies introduced, and are willing to continue to use the technologies even after the end of the program.
- The program enhanced cooperative activities and group participation in most farming communities, which had been almost non-existent in virtually all locations prior to the intervention.
- The Post-Harvest and Agro-Processing (PHAP) Theme trained 180 extension agents and 4,876 farmers on Improved post-harvest handling and storage management of the selected maize, rice and cassava crops
- Ten different post-harvest and agro-processing technologies were identified, tested, adapted and demonstrated.
- Two modern agro-processing centres (for rice, cassava & maize) established in each of the 4 states and 5 others are on-going.
- 184 extension agents and lead farmers were trained to acquire skills of assessing agricultural markets using Rapid Market Assessment (RMA) tool, value chain concept and business plan
- 52 extension agents, 104 lead farmers (cassava and rice) and 52 agro-dealers were trained on agri-business management and group dynamics.
- The SAFE program in Usman Danfodio University Sokoto was established, students were admitted and all curriculum was developed and is in place.
Farmers field day in Benue
Group work during Gender Sensitization Workshop in Katsina
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