Through the West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program,
10,000 smallholders will increase crop yields and their incomes
The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has awarded a $500,000 co-investment grant to PYXERA Global, a not-for-profit with extensive experience designing training and capacity-building programs, to support the launch of its West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program (WAFARP). This program will assist 10,000 farmers cultivating rice, maize, and soybean within Nigeria’s Kebbi, Cross River, and Benue States. These states are focal areas for the Trade Hub in Nigeria, whose work aligns with and supports the mission of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative.
The smallholder farmers PYXERA Global is assisting have faced numerous challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including income loss from not producing crops as planned. Their challenges have resulted in disrupted market channels and food supply chains. Through leveraging the existing agribusiness systems of Dantata Foods and Allied Products Company Limited (Dantata Foods)—one of Nigeria’s leading food processing and agribusiness firm—PYXERA Global will provide an avenue for smallholders in its program to increase crop yield and boost their incomes.
“Under the West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program model, we have designed a program that is based on strengthening systems for three agricultural value chains—rice, soybeans, and maize,” says Ann Oden, the program’s team lead. “This initiative leverages private sector resources to deliver a strategic program, with the goal of bringing economic prosperity to smallholder farmers while ensuring sustained food security.”
This goal will be achieved by first bringing all the smallholders into Dantata Foods’ outgrower program, as the company will both assist the smallholders to increase crop yields and buy from them as well. To ensure quality output for the crops it buys, the company will supply the smallholders with quality seeds and other farm inputs. Supported by PYXERA Global, Dantata Foods will also provide training programs to help the smallholders produce higher-quality crops that command better prices. The crops produced through the program will be taken to Dantata Foods’ aggregation centers already located in the three target states of Kebbi, Cross River, and Benue, where the smallholders will be paid by the company at prevailing market rates. Plans are also underway for Dantata Foods to leverage its resources to upgrade the aggregation centers with state-of-the art cleaning and sorting equipment.
“It is our greatest aim to support and improve the livelihood of everyone in the society, especially the underrepresented women and youth in the agricultural sector,” said Alhaji Tajudeen Dantata, Chairman of Dantata Foods.
Through the program, the smallholders—which will include 50 percent women or youth—are anticipated to produce 25,000 metric tons of each of the value chains in the first season and an additional 5,000 metric tons in the subsequent seasons. The total net income is projected to be $6.72 million and $9.8 million for each respective season.
“Nigeria’s agricultural sector has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, negatively impacting smallholder farmers and the communities of people who depend on their success in growing crops,” said Michael Clements, Trade Hub’s Chief of Party. “We are excited about the potential of PYXERA Global’s West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program to bolster agricultural systems and expect to co-invest in other such programs as part of our COVID-19 rapid response initiative.”
About West Africa Trade & Investment Hub: The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a USAID-funded initiative that catalyzes economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa.
About USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S.
Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
About Feed the Future: The Feed the Future initiative is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. It works to give families and communities in some of the world’s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition.
About PYXERA Global: PYXERA Global is a non-governmental organization that leverages public and private resources to strengthen the institutions, governments, and industries that drive economic growth around the world.