Fadama Project Turns Nigerian Farmers into Agro-preneurs

April 2, 2015


Through the FADAMA Project supported by the World Bank, rice farmers in the Majin-Gari Rice Production Cluster of Niger State can turn subsistence farming into a profitable business venture. 

World Bank Group

  • Additional financing for the National Fadama Development Project III is helping Nigeria’s farmers to turn their agriculture skills into income-generating businesses
  • The additional funding comes on the heels of three successful phases of agriculture and rural development in states
  • The project financing also supports the country’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda

ABUJA, April 2, 2015 – Since 1993, the World Bank funded-National Fadama Development Project has been supporting Nigeria’s farmers by helping to empower communities and strengthen agriculture development in states throughout the country. Now, with additional funding recently added to the third phase of the project, farmers are poised to turn subsistence farming into for-profit businesses.

With financing of $200 million, new generations of business-oriented agro-preneurs are emerging, giving farmers a new way to feed their families and earn an income.

“With increase in yield per hectare, quality products, availability of ready markets with good pricing guaranteed, farm business seems bright,” said Muhammadu Sallah, Yegborolo Rice Farmers Group, Majin Gari, Lavun. “Our living standard will surely improve.”

With the success of the completed Fadama projects I, II and II, the Nigerian government wanted to expand the success to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which led to the additional financing. The project, which started this year, will focus on support to value chains of cassava, rice, sorghum and horticulture in six states; Kogi, Niger, Kano, Lagos, Anambra and Enugu. The six states will serve as hubs of Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs), while surrounding states will serve as catchment areas to feed the processing zones.

“The Third National Fadama Development Project Additional Financing is a unique opportunity to demonstrate how the World Bank Group can support Nigeria to drive its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA),” said Adetunji Oredipe, task team leader for the project. “It is therefore not surprising to see the high level of commitment and political support availed the project by the federal government.”

The additional financing will also be used to increase the income for users of rural lands and water resources within the Fadama areas in a sustainable manner throughout the territory. This time around, the project is not just focusing on production, but also concentrating on aggregating and processing for marketing. This is upping the scale from subsistence agriculture to making agriculture a business. This why it is being aligned to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the government, as well as other WBG-supported projects such as Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria in Project (TRIMING) and SCPZs, the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP).

Critical production activities will also be scaled up, along with organizing of farmers into clusters of out-grower groups in the participating states. The project will also build a culture of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to link the FCAs to markets and private sector investors, as well as develop their capacity to negotiate marketing arrangements and contracts. “The Additional Financing will help the Government to transform our state with agriculture as well as eradicate poverty,” Said Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

Investors and Partners such as Cargill, Dangote and others have already keyed into the program by establishing farms and processing plants as up-takers for the Fadama products.

Bukar Bukata Bayero, the commissioner for agriculture in Bauchi state, expressed his support for the project.

“We don’t joke with agriculture here,” he said. “We are ready to partner with the World Bank to see that priority is given to agriculture in the state.”

The project’s target population is the smallholder households of Fadama farmers engaged in the production of selected value chains such as cassava, rice, sorghum and horticulture, on operational holdings of 0.25ha – 2 ha, and young farmers – the agro-preneurs and processors who are new entrants into agricultural enterprise.

To participate in the program, farmers are expected to join cluster groups through Fadama Offices in the participating states. The project is expected to reach about 317,000 direct beneficiary households and 1.4 million indirect beneficiary households.