Training: Agribusiness Off-Taker and Smallholder Farmer Relationships

The third capacity-building training for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff was held on 7th – 8th June 2021 at IITA, Ibadan.  The training organized by sahel consulting in partnership with IITA was attended by 33 participants selected from FMARD departments, ten of which were from the state offices in Kano, Kebbi, Benue, Edo, Anambra, Ekiti, Katsina, Gombe, Niger and the rest from the Abuja office.

The objectives for the training were for the participants to:

  • Understand the significance of smallholder farmers and agribusiness off-takers in the Nigerian agricultural sector and their prospects in achieving sustainable food systems.
  • Examine possible solutions to food waste that occur in rural smallholder farms due to market linkage restrictions.
  • Assess the significance of agribusiness off-takers in improving the food supply chain and enhancing small scale farmers income especially those in rural areas.
  • Examine past and existing policies that affect relations between farmers and offtakers on the food supply chain using selected countries as case studies.
  • Assess the other exogenous factors that could influence effective relationships between agribusiness off takers and smallholder farmers in Nigeria    

  

 

 

 

Participants were taken through the different types of farmer-off-taker engagements, the stakeholders in the agribusiness landscape, the significance of the smallholder farmer, the urgency of shifting from subsistence to commercialized farming, the role of FMARD in fostering an enabling environment for food security in Nigeria, Farmer Cooperatives Model, and how to measure and evaluate successful farmer-off-taker relationships.

 

The training also incorporated a facility tour of IITA where participants visited the Cassava Processing Unit, the Yam Aeroponics Center, the Afla-safe Lab, the Bioscience center, Gene lab and the dam that allows for year-round planting.

Participants reported that this training has enabled them to share experiences and see the need to; improve FMARD’s ability to track, support and regulate off-taker-farmer engagements by setting up an identification and record keeping system; improve the quality of extension services and cooperative interactions by leveraging on mentorship and coaching services provided by private sector organizations; and to collaborate better with research & technical institutes to gain access to data and training services.

 

Training: Value Chain Transformation from Farm to Fork

The second capacity-building training for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff was held on May 3rd – 5th May 2021 at ARMTI, Abuja.  The training organised by Sahel Consulting was attended by 41 participants selected from FMARD departments, five of which were from the state offices in Borno, Ondo, Rivers, Abia, Sokoto, and the rest from the Abuja office.

The objectives for the training were for the participants to:

    • Understand and appreciate the advances in Nigeria’s most critical agribusiness value chains.
    • Map the actors within and along the value chain and identify their pain points, challenges, and opportunities, which require policy interventions. Participants should be able to replicate this process in other value chains and make informed recommendations for interventions going forward.
    • Understand best practices in other countries that can be adapted to the Nigerian context with a wider perspective on best practices, lessons learnt from other regions via the training and practical examples is key to exposing opportunities to participants.
    • Develop clear strategic responses for strengthening Nigeria’s priority value chains.

Participants were given an overview of some priority value chains: Cereals & Grains, Roots & Tubers, Fruits and Vegetables, Fisheries and Dairy. Each value chain was analyzed through the lens of the gaps, the challenges, and opportunities that exist within the value chain. In addition, participants also discussed the gender gaps and constraints that exist in the priority value chains and came up with recommendations for inclusion strategies some of which center around closing the gender gap in extension worker services and recruitment.

Participants reported that this training has exposed them to new ways of thinking and innovative ideas especially in the areas of gender awareness and the disparity in FMARD, ideas on Urban Agriculture and Soilless farming, seeing agriculture as a commercially viable business and not a second option, Identifying one’s influence within the workplace and how to implement recommendations accordingly.

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