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.