The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Activity has organised a virtual Most Impactful Practices (MIPs) validation workshop to strengthen Nigeria’s agricultural extension delivery systems.
The initiative is an intervention implemented by Winrock International and supported by the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND).
Senior Agricultural Economist, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID Nigeria, Dr. Charles Iyangbe, who clarified the purpose and benefits of the validation workshop, said it provided a platform for agricultural stakeholders to present, discuss, and prioritize the business opportunities for rice, maize, soybean, and cowpea.
“It also enabled smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to better understand the opportunities that abound in these value chain commodities through the MIPs presented to enhance their income and improve livelihoods,” he added
Iyangbe further explained that the workshop also highlighted the potentials for job creation for youth and women in agribusiness by applying the MIPs.
The webinar, according to the expert, also presented for validation mechanised land preparation for soybean, mechanised threshing for rice, weed control (mechanized and chemical) for maize, integrated pest management for cowpea, and improved varieties across the four commodities as potential MIPs for discussion and validation.
Meanwhile, the process of the MIPs identification, the business case of the MIPs, sustainability and scale-up of the MIPs and gender mainstreaming in the MIPs were the major points discussed at the workshop.
In his remarks, a learning paper will be developed from findings and conclusions offered by relevant stakeholders and the audience and made available to relevant state governments as well as private sector partners in attendance for further consideration.
_AgroNigeria_ gathered that the virtual workshop was attended by senior government officials from the federal and state government, USAID Nigeria, development partners, key private sectors companies, investors, universities, research institutions, producer groups, lead farmers, aggregators and processors among others
*About the Nigeria Agribusiness Extension and Advisory Services Activity*
Nigeria Agribusiness Extension and Advisory Services Activity is a private sector-led extension delivery system that started in May 2020 and is being funded by USAID and PIND.
The five-year extension activity aims to build the capacity of MSMEs to deliver extension and advisory services to value chain stakeholders and strengthen linkages between agricultural research institutions, agro-allied companies, public and private extension service providers, and agricultural value chain stakeholders.
The initiative collaborates with federal and state governments and leverages the power of Nigerian entrepreneurship to facilitate learning, replication, and scale around alternative models of extension to measurably increase productivity, income and nutritional status of two million smallholder producers in Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger states
It seeks to work through MSMEs that focus on the information and service needs of the “average” farming household – the representative majority of smallholders within the target value chains who produce the greater part of the production
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