Nigeria, Mali, and Others Invest €100 Million to Aid Small-Scale Farmers

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Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic have collectively committed €100 million to enhance the agricultural resilience of small-scale food producers in the Sahel region.

The initiative aims to have a lasting impact on combating desertification, and land degradation, and managing landscapes and watersheds through participatory planning, effectively integrating soil, water, and biodiversity.

Bidjokazo Fofana, Programme Director of the International Fertilizer Development Centre, announced this during the pre-launch of their new initiative ‘Soil Values’ in Abuja on Monday.

In 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that up to 26.5 million Nigerians could face a food crisis between June and August 2024.

States like Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory were identified as being at higher risk, attributed to persistent insecurity such as insurgency and banditry, as well as natural resource-based conflicts and inflation-driven high costs of food and agricultural inputs.

Fofana stated, “The program will convene various donor communities to explore avenues for additional funding, benefiting not only Sahelian countries but also the broader regional and international community.”

“The €100 million budget was divided among the four countries, with Nigeria investing €40 million, and Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic each investing €20 million,” added Fofana.

Nigeria was chosen for the regional launch due to high expectations, given its productivity and potential to drive significant impact within the Soil Values program. “We expect a lot from Nigeria. Nigeria is a very productive country and a game-changer within the soil value program compared to Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic,” noted Fofana.

Prem Bindraban, Senior Technical Adviser at IFDC, highlighted plans to provide training to farmers to improve their agricultural practices. He emphasized the project’s role in supporting institutional investments and facilitating the effective implementation of larger programs financed by entities like the World Bank.

“This project will assist and support institutional investments and larger programs such as loans given by the World Bank to be implemented effectively. Small-scale farmers, women, and youths would benefit from this project,” he added.


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