Nigeria: World Bank's U.S.$200 Million Project Targets 360,000 Farmers

(file photo)

Lagos — The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement and Action (MoA) with Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS).

APPEALS is a $200million World Bank - funded project for the development, financing, and support of de-risked and optimised agribusiness projects.

According to the partners, the project, which is to be deployed in Cross River, Enugu, Lagos, Kogi, Kaduna, and Kano States, targets 60,000 beneficiaries, and 360,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.

It is anticipated that 35 per cent of direct beneficiaries (or 21,000 individuals) would be women. Additionally, the project has a dedicated sub-component to benefit women and youth that would allow them develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods.

According to NIRSAL, in line with the project development objective of APPEALS, NIRSAL would layer its Tools, Techniques, Methodologies and strategic Partnerships (TTMPs) according to its Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy on the project, with the shared aim of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improvement of value addition along the cassava, cashew, rice, poultry, aquaculture, cocoa, wheat, tomatoes, maize, ginger and dairy value chains in a sustainable manner.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, managing director/CEO of NIRSAL Plc, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, assured APPEALS that, in NIRSAL, they have found a trustworthy, reliable, and capable partner that shares the project's development objective of enhancing the agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improving value addition along priority value chains in participating states.

Providing more insight on the proposed areas of collaboration, Abdulhameed stated that NIRSAL would "deploy its technologies towards the formation of agro-geo-cooperatives for selected commodity value chains through geospatial mapping, soil suitability tests, BVN enrolment for farmers in addition to the creation of Virtual Asset Titles (VAsT), establishment of field governance structures, and training of farmers on good agronomic practices, team dynamics and social engineering."

The national project coordinator of the APPEALS project and director, Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr Amin Babandi, also speaking at the ceremony, expressed his excitement at what he described as a "turning point" in the project's life cycle.

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