Special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger

Green innovation centre Nigeria

Green innovation centre Nigeria: a group of trainers for improved maize planting

Farmers in Nigeria produce mainly rice, maize, potatoes and cassava. However, their farms are small and the yield from the fields is low, so the country has to import food. The state spends about 4 billion US dollars a year just on rice. Yet good money could be earned in Nigeria from farming if modern methods were used.

Demand is also growing in Nigeria for processed foods, especially in the cities. This also presents opportunities for higher incomes in farming and new jobs in the agricultural industry. To help farmers make better use of these opportunities, the green innovation centre in Nigeria supports farmers and processing companies in seven of the country’s 36 states.

What is so innovative?

Training in the villages: In seven states, 340 agricultural extension officers are teaching 200,000 rice, cassava, maize and potato farmers in their own villages. What can be gained by using modern methods of cultivation and harvesting? How do you plan investments and how can money be saved? The training courses provide answers to questions like these. The extension officers belong to the national agricultural extension service, the quality of which is also being raised by the green innovation centre.

Spreading innovation: The Africa Rice Center, the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and other scientific institutions are carrying out research on seeds, farming methods, fertilisers and pesticides. The results of this research are collected and processed by the green innovation centre and its partners to ensure that farmers are taught about worthwhile and environmentally-friendly methods.

Creating markets for farmers: A good harvest is not in itself a guarantee of a good income. The produce also has to be marketed. That is why agricultural cooperatives work with local processing companies. They reach joint agreements on quality and the supply volumes to ensure higher profits for all concerned. The green innovation centre advises the partners.

Our objectives

  • To increase income for 170,000 smallholders by 20 per cent
  • To create 1,000 new jobs
  • To provide education and training for 200,000 smallholders

Routes to success

Most people in Nigeria live on the land. To contact them, the green innovation centre uses the internet: special applications for smartphones and tablets are used to disseminate information about modern agricultural methods, on how to process the harvest and aspects of running a business. Around 400,000 farmers are reached in this way.

In 2016 alone, about 51,000 farmers were expected to attend commercial and technical training courses. There are now successful business models in place for cooperation between rice farmers and contractors who hire out agricultural equipment. 26 processing companies want to develop their supplier relationships with farmers. These include rice millers and manufacturers of foods such as cassava flour and starch. The companies buy produce from the farmers at fair prices.

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