During the month of May 2023, USAID Advancing Nutrition organized six workshops, two each for Nigeria’s Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto States, to strengthen the capacity of various food systems actors on key agricultural practices that can stimulate local supply of nutritious foods in rural communities. The workshops aimed to promote good agricultural practices in prioritized food crops such as cowpea, soybeans, groundnut, orange fleshed sweet potato, millet, rice, dark green leafy vegetables, and quality protein maize.
Throughout the training, participants learned essential topics like land preparation, planting, weeding, pest and disease control, harvesting, and post-harvest handling/storage. Participants also learned about how these foods can contribute to improved nutrition and food security in their communities.
As part of this effort, USAID Advancing Nutrition facilitated the involvement of private sector last-mile agricultural input dealers to showcase their agricultural input and discuss buying options with workshop participants, which is important for increasing access to agricultural inputs—a barrier to productivity in Northern Nigeria. These input providers showcased a range of products, including high-quality bio-fortified seeds, agrochemicals, and fertilizers. Initial results showed enthusiasm by local food systems actors to purchase these improved inputs. For example, in Bauchi, participants purchased 80,000 NGN worth of agrochemicals and biofortified seeds and Kebbi participants purchased 207,950NGN worth of inputs.
A total of 300 people participated in the workshops, including 99 from Kebbi, 91 from Sokoto, and 110 in Bauchi. The project facilitated action planning with agriculture extension agents, who plan to cascade the training to approximately 11,500 smallholder farmers within their respective communities across the three states of implementation. To ensure sustainability, the government’s Agriculture Development Programme has pledged to provide supportive supervision during the step-down training at the community level.
USAID Advancing Nutrition works across 5 states in Nigeria to provide technical support, implement innovative nutrition interventions, and generate evidence to enhance nutrition programming. Learn more about the project’s work in the country.