From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As part of efforts to ensure food security, post-harvest loss reduction and improved farmers’ earnings, the World Food Programme (WFP), MasterCard Foundation and Christian Aid (CAid) are set to support 50,000 smallholder farmers in the North East.
The support, which was designed by the WFP with funding support from MasterCard Foundation and implemented by CAid Nigeria, will be supporting the farmers, households, and communities in Nigeria’s Northeast under Smallholder Farmers Agriculture Market Support Initiative (SHF).
The broader goal of the support programme is to address the root causes of post-harvest losses and low productivity, commodity quality, and to strengthen smallholder farmer access to markets to enhance their income, and to create new jobs across the selected value chains, particularly for youth and women in northeastern Nigeria.
The implementation will happen in LGAs across Borno (Biu, Bayo, Hawul and Kwaya Kusar LGAs) and Adamawa (Michika and Madagali LGAs) States, North East Nigeria.
Related: UNICEF: New fund to support 280,000 pregnant women, children in North East
The 50,000 targeted beneficiaries will be spread across 3 different tiers; 1: 10,000 direct farmers supported with high-quality variety seeds of millet, sorghum, Aflasafe, fertilizer and glyphosate.
Tier 2: 20,0000 farm labour force who will be trained to support smallholder farm activities and earn economic benefit.
Tier 3: 20,000 post-harvest service providers and value addition actors will receive training on post-harvest loss reduction.
For Tier 1, the project will be for 8 months (July 2022 to February 2023), Tier 2 will be from March 2023 to December 2023 and Tier 3 will be from January 2024 to December 2024.
Senior Programme Coordinator, Livelihood, CAid Nigeria, Danladi Mamza, in a statement, said the project would contribute to lessening the persistent food insecurity, chronic food shortages and in the long run malnutrition, especially among children in Nigeria’s Northeast states which have been facing one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world.
“Christian Aid in coordination with WFP and relevant government stakeholders (such as both federal and state ministries of Agriculture, States Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs), LGAs Departments of Agriculture, Agro-Inputs Dealers, Agricultural Service Providers etc) will conduct target exercise with the community members to determine the exact wards and communities for the intervention.
“Since 2003, Christian Aid has successfully provided support to meet the social and economic needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised in Nigeria.
“Our humanitarian response provides immediate relief while leveraging on opportunities to rebuild communities and establish sustainable livelihoods and improved practices.
“We prioritise three critical elements including emergency lifesaving food assistance to communities affected by conflict, promoting livelihood recovery and health in emergencies with a focus on nutrition.
“We are improving the conditions of persons affected by conflict and disaster by providing timely lifesaving interventions that ensure equality of life in the long term, while building livelihoods and peaceful communities in Nigeria,” the statement read in part.