Nippon Foundation





The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the USA that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the country’s foreign policy goals.

SAA collaborates with USAID in various ways


Between 2005 and 2010, USAID/Nigeria implemented the five-year Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites (MARKETS) project. MARKETS focused on expanding economic opportunities in the agricultural sector by increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing value-added processing, and increasing commercialization through private-sector led and market-driven growth and development. MARKETS worked on a number of value chains. It sub-contracted with several service providers, such as SAA, to network and train farmers in an out-grower scheme to produce some commodities for an already available market (buyers).

Project Title: Management of Demonstration Farms and Maize Outgrowers Program in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Period: June 2010 – Jan. 2011; May 2011- Aug. 2011

Target Area: Sami-Naka, Yar-Kasuwa, Gadar Gayan, Jaji and Riga Chukun, Nigeria

Fund Amount: approx. $US 85,000 and $US 33, 433, respectively

Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:

In 2010, MARKETS worked with SAA Nigeria as a subcontractor to organize and train 3,000 farmers in an out-grower scheme designed to produce raw material (maize) for the Grand Cereals Oil Mills, Limited (GCOML), Jos, a company that is involved in food and feeds processing. The purpose of the SAA intervention was to train the farmers on the best agronomic practices for improved maize production and supply of quality maize grain (especially in drying, threshing, cleaning) to meet standards set by the buyer.


A networked farmer by his farm at the Yar-Kosuwa site.

The project was conducted in Kaduna State in some selected local governments that have potentials in maize production. SAA was responsible for overseeing a team of extension agents to design and implement Training of Trainers events for lead farmers, provide technical advice to the networked farmers, supervise step-down trainings by the lead farmers on to their members, conduct field days, report on the outcomes of all events, and measure the impact of the MARKETS intervention for the full agricultural season. This work was carried out along with the Kaduna State Agricultural Development Authority, who made available their Extension Agents to SAA.

Approximately 2,850 farmers participated in the program in 2010, which increased to 5,000 in 2011. It is anticipated that the MARKETS 2 project will start in 2012 and that SAA will play a much greater role in it.


Project Period: 2012-2016 (5Years)

Fund donated up to August 2015: Appx. $814,680

MARKETS focuses on the large population of smallholder farmers with between 1 to 5 hectares of land under cultivation. An estimated 80 and 90 percent of all agricultural plots in Nigeria are less than two hectares in size. Given that between 60 to 80 percent of the workforce on such smallholdings may be women (depending on crop and region), MARKETS II will seek to specifically benefit them..The project will continue to make agro-processors central to the value chain and sector development to increase rural incomes and jobs.


Lead farmer inspecting her soyabean

The program is giving priority to women, youth, and the very poor by systematically seeking to incorporate these groups into all project activities. The project is designed to be financially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Productivity increases will not be the outcome of direct subsidies, but rather the result of adoption of modern farming methods, connecting farmers to agro- inputs sources, through privately and publicly provided extension services, by investments in public infrastructure, and by changes in agricultural policy.

In 2010, USAID/MARKETS approached SG2000 for a collaborative programme based on its past outstanding achievements in disseminating proven maize production technologies to farmers in Nigeria.
Since then, SG2000 has been serving as a sub-contractor for the implementation of USAID Nigeria MARKETS, Bridge to MARKETS and MARKETSII. The projects aimed to improve the productivity and value addition of Maize and soybeans in Kaduna State.

Maize is one of the seven (7) MARKETS II commodities and together with Soybean they are a sub-value chain of aquaculture. The project seeks to improve quality of maize and soybean produced as a major raw material in the fish feed industry, thereby reducing the high cost of Fish Feeds as witnessed by fish farmers in Nigeria.


Lead farmers and female extension agent

From 2010 to 2015 maize farmers were networked in Lere, Igabi, Giwa, Soba, Kajuru, Chikun, Makarfi and Kubau LGAs of Kaduna state for production and supply to Grand Cereals Limited (GCL), NOVUM Associates, and FEEDTECH Agro Industries. The program covers 8 local government areas (LGAs) and continued to partner with the Kaduna State Agriculture Development Program (KADP). The program encouraged the cultivation of proven open-pollinated and hybrid maize varieties. It collaborated with different partners, and the partnerships resulted to increased sales of agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals), improved awareness on input organizations, increased level of improved technology adoption and dissemination on production and post-harvest techniques and increase in yields and income to networked maize farmers. These partnerships are in line with MARKETS objective of improving agribusiness development through commercialization, creating jobs and increasing income of farmers. The networked farmer associations and KADP extension workers have benefitted from several trainings, including: pre-season, as guided by the use of MARKETS II Package of Practices (POP); post-harvest; group dynamics and leadership skills trainings to build their capacities. Yield increase recorded on farmers’ fields –Average 4.5 tons/ha for maize and 2 tons/ha for soybean compared to farmer practice of 1.5 tons/ha maize and 0.8tons/ha of soybean.

The table below indicates project activities of maize and soybean, years of implementation and the number of farmers reached..





SG2000 has served as a sub-contractor for the implementation of USAID Nigeria MARKETS, Bridge to MARKETS II as well as the current MARKET II projects.

Strategies for implementation of the project activities include:

Sensitizing and networkeing farmers towards understanding and benefitting from the projects. Lead Farmers were trained in the Pre- Season TOT on good agricultural practices on maize and soybean; they then trained other group members through the step-down trainings at village levels. Settin up and managing demonstration plots and production farms. Conducting several in-situ (in-season) trainings and field days. Carrying out several supervisory visits to farmers’ fields. Conducting post-harvest trainings that showcase how best to harvest and produce quality grains. Conducting cost, yield and income surveys. Collecting relevant data from both field and training events. Coordinating and facilitating grain buy back from farmers by agro-processors. Submitting reports to MARKETS II based on agreed deliverables.


Funded by USAID, the INTSORMIL (International Sorghum, Millet and other Grains) Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) is a research organization focused on education, mentoring and collaboration with host country scientists in developing new technologies to improve sorghum, pearl millet and other grains (teff, fonio, finger millet) production and utilization worldwide. Coordinated by the University of Nebraska INTSORMIL has projects in 17 developing countries of Africa and Central America, and in the United States and the INTSORMIL mission is to conduct collaborative research to improve farm income and human and animal nutrition by overcoming constraints to sorghum, millet and other grains production and utilization for the mutual benefit of agriculture in the U.S. and developing countries. One of its projects is Development of Inputs and Product Markets in West Africa for Sorghum and Millet. SAA is a partner in this initiative.

Project Title: Development of inputs and product markets in West Africa for Sorghum and Millet

Period: May 2011 – Apr. 2012 (one year)

Target Area: Ségou region in Mali

Fund Amount: $US 27,000 and $US 40,000 Farmer-Based Organization revolving fund

Background, Purpose of the Project and Role of SAA:

In the 2011 crop year, the major activity is the scaling up process of millet production and marketing intensification from 500 hectares to 1,000 hectares involving farmers from ancient and new villages. To achieve higher yields and higher prices of Toroniou (millet in the Segou region), SAA is working with agro-dealers to provide farmers with Toroniou Millet seed, fungicides and fertilizer for 500 new hectares. Farmer Based Organizations will use the revolving fund from the 2010 millet grain marketing premium to purchase production input for the ancient 500 hectares.

In 2010 the IICEM and USAID funded project provided financial resources to support SAA for scaling up improved millet production and market technologies in Segou region. The goal was to increase the area in new technologies from 150 ha to 500 ha in 2010 and 1,000 ha in 2011.

SAA provides technical support to IICEM, Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Micro financial institutions, and agro-dealers. The good working relationships of SAA with the implementers of the project contribute to facilitate technology expansion in the area of the project.


Left: SAA Managing Director appreciating millet crop, Right: Women agroprocessor discussing with a farmer on a millet variety

Feeding the Future

SAA History Book
"Take it to the farmer"

Electronic version of SAA History Book is available here.

success stories

SAA Success Stories

Electronic version of SAA Success Stories is available here.

Feeding the future

Newsletter of the
Sasakawa Africa

Electronic version of Feeding the Future are available here.

To be kept informed of Feeding the Future updates and news via e-mail or to order printed copies, please contact from here.

top of page