Use of scientific evidence for greater partnerships and better policies
Discussion sessions with Nigerian Agriculture Minister
“Concrete outcomes of research are indispensable tools in sourcing funds for agricultural research”, – Mr Manir Babba Dan’agundi, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Colleges and Institutions.
Surveys on agricultural technology adoption in Nigeria carried out in 2019-2020 revealed gains made in crop yields, gross margins and ROI, as well as challenges in accessing improved seeds. One of the suggestions made on the basis of these results was that ICRISAT develop appropriate policy briefs for use by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD Nigeria) and agricultural sector partners for value chains and markets of millets, sorghum and groundnut. The detailed results of the surveys were discussed recently with government officials and NARS partners in Nigeria in two sessions designed to provide them with updated evidence to be considered while formulating agricultural policies.
Surveys on adoption of varietal and non-varietal technologies and their impacts and value chain analyses of the ICRISAT mandate crops in Nigeria have been ongoing in selected states of Northern Nigeria since 2019. In addition to testing survey tools for the collection of digitized gender-disaggregated data within the framework of the implementation of the HOPE 2/AVISA projects, outcomes of these surveys constitute data-driven sources for breeding, seed systems and policy formulation at both State and Federal levels in Nigeria.
Members discussed outcomes of adoption and welfare impact studies of groundnut, sorghum and pearl millet; value chain analyses of these crops; and youth engagement in the agri-food system in Nigeria.
- Pearl millet: Awareness of improved varieties was 28%, resulting in an adoption rate of 18%, compared to a potential adoption rate of 45%. The 27% gap in adoption rate could be reduced with greater efforts in extension, awareness, availability of quality seeds.
- Sorghum: Adoption rate of improved varieties was 25%.
- Pearl millet: ROI was higher for farmers who adopted improved technologies (83%) than for those who did not (43%).
- Germination potential, pest/disease resistance, size, color and market price were identified as key traits by actors of sorghum, groundnut and pearl millet value chains.
- Many locally processed products of these crops are frequently placed on local markets with demand increasing for each product: e.g. Fura (dough balls) from pearl millet, Kuli-Kuli (cake) from groundnut and flour from sorghum.
- Margins for value chain actors range from 8% for market-based retailers to 29% for small-scale neighborhood retailers.
- Except in the processing/distribution segment, all other segments of the groundnut, pearl millet and sorghum value chains are dominated by men.
“There is enormous potential in developing capacities of actors of each value chain and ensuring adequate governance in all the three value chains,” said Dr Vabi. “Information flow is the key aspect of ensuring value chain linkages and improving governance.”
Dr Jummai Yila, Gender Scientist, ICRISAT-WCA, revealed unexploited employment opportunities for youths across the sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut value chains.
The opening session was presided over by Mr Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria. In his opening remarks, the Minister acknowledged the long-term role that ICRISAT has played in ensuring availability of quality seeds of groundnut, sorghum and pearl millet in Nigeria. The Minister recounted, “ICRISAT has succeeded in supporting the development of several sorghum and groundnut varieties in Nigeria; varieties which combine early growth and resistance to many diseases/pests.” He then challenged ICRISAT to go beyond the stimulation of downstream sectors of crop value chains to support processing in order to ensure food and nutrition security of Nigerians. In order to achieve this, he encouraged ICRISAT and agricultural sector partners to link crop production with industry. He also underlined the need to move beyond small-scale group processors, and work towards generating employment for youth as 70% of them remain unemployed in Nigeria.
The first technical debriefing and validation session was held in Kano during 5-6 November 2020, and the second in Abuja on 10 November 2020. Participants of the sessions were representatives of agricultural research, extension and seed regulatory agencies supervised by the FMARD as well as research-for-development partners in Nigeria. The meetings highlighted the need to revitalize the technical coordinating role of the FMARD and search for alternative strategies to sustain synergies among partners.
For more on our work in Nigeria, click here: Nigeria| EXPLOREit@ICRISAT
About the authors:
Dr Michael Boboh Vabi
Socio-economist/M&E Scientist, AVISA Project
Dr Hakeem Ayinde Ajeigbe
Systems Agronomist/Country Representative-Nigeria
Ms Agathe Diama
Head – Regional Information