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Dr. Sani Miko, Country Director

No. 8, Kura Road,
Off Magajin Rumfa Road,
Nassarawa GRA,
Kano State, Nigeria.
See Staff section for more information.

SG 2000-Nigeria History

The SG2000-Nigeria country program began in March 1992, under an agreement signed with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FMARNR) to work with federal and state agencies to raise agricultural productivity and improve food crop marketing. The major objectives of SG2000-Nigeria were to raise the crop management skills of front-line extension staff and smallholder farmers in order to increase crop production and productivity. Given the size of Nigeria, it was agreed that SG2000-Nigeria would work in the north, a high-potential agricultural area of the country. More than 2,000 extension agents and 1 million smallholder farmers in eight states of the north have participated in the program. Thousands of demonstration plots (then called Management Training Plots) were established with participating farmers in the diffusion of improved wheat, maize, rice, cowpea, soybean, groundnut, millet, sorghum, and sesame cassava technologies.

SG2000-Nigeria has worked mainly with and through the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) established in participating states. The participating ADPs have assigned State and Zonal Coordinators and Extension Agents (EAs) to implement jointly planned field programs. SG2000-Nigeria supplements the in-service training of ADP staff that, in turn, provide on-the-ground training to participating farmers to ensure successful technology transfer, while assisting them in obtaining inputs and solving day-to-day problems affecting food crop productivity.

Major challenges faced by SG2000-Nigeria included poor seed supply systems, lack of post-production activities, and the need to scale up activities to reach a large number of farmers. Based on careful assessments of the experience gained during 15 years of project activities in the country, SG 2000-Nigeria adapted SAA’s new strategic, value chain-based approach and launched a broader, more thematic approach in 2009. These are described under the What we do section of the website.

Current Program Priorities, Activities and Partnerships

SG2000-Nigeria is active in seven states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, and Zamfara). In each state where we operate, the Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs) assign a state coordinator and two to three zonal coordinators, depending on the state and the number of front-line extension agents that have direct contact with the farmers. The Country Director manages the country program and works with thematic directors and staff to ensure that excellence is achieved in program planning and execution. SAFE staff provides leadership in Theme 4.

In 2009, the SG2000-Nigeria Program shifted from its previous mode of operation (with its primary focus on increasing crop productivity) to a more holistic approach for strengthening the extension advisory services provided to farmers. We seek to introduce a market-driven, value chain approach to extension, working back from proven sources of market demand toward production, with extension focusing on productivity improvements in both crop production and post-harvest handling and storage.

Crop Productivity Enhancement (Theme 1)

In 2010, in order to assess agricultural production systems and farmers’ needs prior to the start of the rainy season, the Theme 1 team in Nigeria made visits to farmers’ communities across six different states. Almost 1,700 farmers (40% of whom were women) participated in the exercise. Based on the findings, FLPs were established with 11 different crops (maize, sorghum, rice, millet, wheat, cowpea, peanut, soybean, sesame, tomato and pepper) and a focus on demonstrating fertilizer management and/or new varieties.

A total of 332 TOPs and 662 WADs were established during the rainy season, as well as about 2,200 PTPs. Field days were held in the six states reaching 6,400 farmers.


Post-harvest Handling and Agroprocessing (Theme 2)

Needs assessment surveys were carried out in six states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara) during 2010. The surveys aimed to identify promising processing opportunities in target crop value chains around which post-harvest and agroprocessing activities can be established. Integrating crop productivity and postharvest grain handling and protection represent the largest impact area for the program. To achieve this, close collaboration between Theme 1 and 2 staff is required.

Theme 2 staff members also work with poorer farmers, many of who lack sufficient resources to depend solely on crop production for food security, to develop agroprocessing enterprises that provide off-farm sources of employment.

Wherever possible, SG2000-Nigeria seeks to identify agroprocessing enterprise options that build upon adding value to crops being featured in the crop productivity enhancement work. In Nigeria, examples include, the food condiment dadawa, made from soybeans, to parboiled rice, to groundnut oil extraction and cake processing. In this way, SG2000-Nigeria seeks to apply a fuller expression of the value chain, beginning with crop productivity improvement and continuing through improved systems of processing.

They also sought to obtain information on the utility of existing prototypes of agroprocessing equipment, and about different storage structures currently in use, in order to help design appropriate post-production training and demonstration programs.
A total of 31 villages and 761 agro-processors representing 32 different groups were identified for the survey. In total 475 processors were sampled, 460 of whom were women.

Based on the outcomes of the needs assessment, training sessions were organized for agroprocessors in three states (Adamawa, Jigawa and Kano). Between March and July 2010, group dynamics and management training workshops were attended by 147 agroprocessors. A training session for small manufacturers was held at Bayero University Kano (BUK), attended by six small manufacturers and university staff. A number of field days and demonstrations were also held to demonstrate the multi-crop thresher, cassava processing unit and the maize sheller.

We are also in the process of developing private entrepreneurs to become service providers for mechanized post-harvest handling and agroprocessing services to smallholders (as is on-going in Kaduna, Adamawa and Jigawa States).

Public–Private Partnerships and Market Access (Theme 3)

Although agricultural extension has long been viewed as a public service issue, SG2000-Nigeria has been working with private agribusinesses for many years. Such enterprises have often provided inputs for field activities, and some go further to support specific activities such as demonstrations, building storage facilities and buying outputs. A stakeholder meeting held in March 2010 was attended by 67 participants to discuss access to finance and inputs. The meeting ended with pledges of support for the SG2000-Nigeria program from thirteen private companies.

Public- Partners and activities related to Theme 3 in Nigeria


Community seed outgrower schemes in Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara states supported by SG2000-Nigeria successfully produced 25.5 tons of improved seed in 2010. Four community-based seed producers were linked to three seed companies, resulting in sales of 3.2 tons of seed.

As part of its efforts to promote greater local partnership, in January 2010 SAA invited eight Executive State Governors from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Zamfara States to a round-table discussion focused on state government funding of SAA/SAFE activities in Nigeria. His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala H. Nyako (Rtd.) presided over this historic meeting. Several Governors attended personally and others sent personal representatives to the meeting. The states were invited to provide 30 million naira (the equivalent of US$ 200,000) per state in counterpart funding to the new partnership. All responded positively to a proposal for cost sharing in the implementation of SAA/SAFE activities for an initial period of five years.

Following the meeting, four states – Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa and Zamfara – signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to share costs. Two states, Adamawa and Jigawa, had paid their contributions by December 2010, several others pledged to do so in 2011.

Human Resource Development (Theme 4)

The Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension (SAFE), SAA’s sister organization, launched a mid-career BSc in agricultural extension in 2004 with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU). In 2008, Bayero University Kano (BUK) joined forces with SAFE. Their BSc in agricultural extension for mid-career officers was assessed in 2010 by the National University Commission (NUC), against national quality standards for curriculum, strength of teaching staff, availability of teaching materials and admission requirements, among others. The program received full accreditation, which means it is now recognized as a degree-awarding program in Nigeria.

Adamawa State University and Illorin University were also assessed in 2010 for their potential to host SAFE programs. Both universities were found to have adequate lecture rooms, dormitories, and other physical facilities, as well as committed leadership and quality staff, to effectively implement a SAFE program. They are slated to launch SAFE-supported mid-career BSc in agriculture extension courses in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

For further information of SAFE program and statistics on SAFE mid-career graduates and students at Nigerian universities, see Theme 4 and the SAFE website.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Sharing (Theme 5)

Most MELS activities in Nigeria focused on orientation, planning and systems development in 2010. Following the development generic output and outcome indicators, baseline data collection instruments and tools, and standard needs assessment tools, the team also devised a baseline survey plan for implementation in the first quarter of 2011.

Monitoring visits were made to Theme 1 field sites in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano and Zamfara with the aim of assuring the quality of data collection by field enumerators. The need for better training and revised data collection instruments was highlighted.

Important SG 2000-Nigeria Achievements

SG2000-Nigeria has had a significant impact on the extension services of participating states and their ability to transfer technology packages for various crops. The following indicators are helpful in understanding this impact:

  • Maize is now being much more widely grown in northern Nigeria than it was 15 years ago due to the introduction of earlier-maturing varieties (including extra-early maturity maize) and the introduction and popularization of hybrids (Oba Supa 1 and 2) developed by IITA. This has permitted successful cultivation in areas with short rainy seasons. Crop management training has led to a dramatic transformation of a large maize-growing area in Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states. At least 500,000 ha now produce at a yield level of close to 4 t/ha, compared to 1.5 t/ha 15 years ago.
  • Maize production has expanded in the formal irrigation schemes and Fadama areas in the savannah areas of the North, often as an off-season crop that can be sold in the market when prices are highest and also often as green maize.
  • In collaboration with Lake Chad Research Institute and Institute for Agricultural Research, ABU, Zaria, SG 2000-Nigeria has demonstrated the productivity of four new wheat varieties SERI M82 (LACRIWHIT 1), Linfen (LACRIWHIT 2), Cietta (LACRIWHIT 3) and Attila (LACRIWHIT 4). These varieties were demonstrated through jointly managed MTPs and are currently being adopted by farmers.
  • The SOSAT Millet variety developed by ICRISAT was introduced through the field demonstration program in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States. It is now estimated to be grown on over 1 million ha across millet-growing states.
  • In collaboration with WARDA, SG 2000-Nigeria demonstrated and popularized the New Rice for Africa (NERICA), WITA 1 and 4 as well as SIPPI rice varieties.
  • States where we have not been operating are increasingly requesting our presence, and we have established six agroprocessing centers in Jigawa and Adamawa States and are involving many more women in crop production demonstrations.

Crop yield increases as a result of SG 2000 intervention

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