NIGERIA – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has issued a grant of US$900,000 to Nigeria aimed to supports small-scale producers and rural households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The support has been channelled through IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) to enable the farmers rebuild and recover in the post-crisis period, targeting small-holders in seven northern states of Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.
Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, more than 8,000 vulnerable smallholders in the region will receive an agricultural stimulus and resilience package composed of climate resilient seeds.
According to IFAD these are high yielding, and high nutritional value varieties that will help farmers achieve good production and secure their incomes.
“By supporting smallholders to mitigate this crisis through a market-led approach, basic farming activities will be sustained, facilitating post-COVID-19 crisis recovery and resilience.”Nadine Gbossa – IFAD’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa
The support complements the United Nations Nigeria COVID-19 Basket by earmarking resources to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on smallholders’ farming activities and domestic food supply.
“We both recognize and appreciate IFAD’s support to our quest to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy, particularly on the agricultural sector.
“This support strengthens my Ministry’s COVID-19 Agricultural Mitigation and Sustainability Plan, which aims to address the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian agriculture and food security,” Mohammed S. Nanono, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria said.
The government will procure 80 metric tons of seed – maize, rice and vegetables – and 722 metric tons of fertilizer that will support the most affected small-scale farmers.
There will also be training for communities on improved food production practices, including effective application of fertilizer and agro-chemicals, farm management and climate-smart agriculture.
These activities are intended to safeguard smallholders’ pre-COVID gains in food security, better market access and increased income.
Activities would also sensitize small-scale producers to COVID-19 security measures they should follow to stay safe during their farming activities.
“This funding from IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility will ensure that farmers have timely access to inputs, information, and markets. By supporting smallholders to mitigate this crisis through a market-led approach, basic farming activities will be sustained, facilitating post-COVID-19 crisis recovery and resilience.
“IFAD is committed to leave no one behind and will ensure that women and youth in Nigeria have an equal opportunity to benefit from this funding,” Nadine Gbossa, IFAD’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa said.
Since 1985, IFAD has financed 11 projects in Nigeria for a total of US$ 1,136.8 million, including US$ 510.5 million from IFAD’s own resources, directly benefitting nearly 3.9 million Nigerian rural households.
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