Lagos, Nigeria — 10,000 women in Nigeria will be selected as direct beneficiaries of a two-year agricultural intervention, as Value Seeds launches their COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Intervention Project in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.
"At Value Seeds, we understand that women and, particularly young women, face multiple constraints when acquiring training and empowerment opportunities as well as accessing credit, which are major constraints affecting farmers' productivity. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic aggravate these constraints further by making inputs more expensive and market logistics more tedious for the smallholder farmer. We intend to improve farmer s' yields by providing access to improved seeds, quality crop production inputs, and strengthening their capacity to produce optimally ," said George Kabutha, Project Lead Value Seeds.
The program is expected to significantly increase the volume of premium maize and rice grains in the market by about 450,000 tons. It will also create indirect jobs in the crop value chain, including input dealers, farm labourers, transporters, logistic officers, marketers' off-takers, feed millers, and staff in the agro processing industry.
"Value Seeds advocate that a bottoms-up agricultural transformation is the best path to inclusive economic growth to build the resilience of the Nigerian population. The goal of the project is in alignment with the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, which focuses on the provision of direct support to companies in the agricultural value chain, specifically to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to markets and to maintain food security," said Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation.
Through this intervention, Value Seeds can contribute to re-igniting the Nigerian economy and ensure that food supply chains are enhanced, thereby increasing the economic health of small- holder farmers while improving employment indices.
"At Value Seeds, we understand that women and, particularly young women, face multiple constraints when acquiring training and empowerment opportunities as well as accessing credit,
About Value Seeds
Value Seeds is a leading seed company in Nigeria established in 2009. The company focus is on providing solutions and increasing access to beneficial agricultural technologies by smallholder farmers. Seed research, seed health, seed distribution and training for farmers on good agronomic practices are the company's key activities. Value Seeds was ranked 1 st in West and Central Africa in the first ever ranking by Access to Seeds Index in 2019. It is the only seed company in West and Central Africa that is member of Cimmyt's International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa: IMIC-Africa. Value Seeds is also a member of COSEM-RIZ, Africa Rice Consortium of Rice Producers, Millers and Scientists. Our flagship products, Value Kit-Maize and Rkit, valuable agricultural technology innovations to produce maize and rice respectively, by smallholder farmers, are the only bundled inputs technology for crop production in West and Central Africa.
About the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program
The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program has two main goals. First, to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students. Second, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. These include universities, financial services providers, businesses, technology start-ups, incubators, government agencies, youth organizations, and non- governmental organizations. For more on the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, please visit https://mastercardfdn.org/covid19-recovery-resilience-program/. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn
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Nonye Mpho Omotola
Country Lead, Program Communications, Nigeria