Agricultural inputs

Smallholder farmers constitute about 70% of the Nigerian rural population and produce over 90% of the country’s agricultural output. However these farmers harvest very low yields per unit area because they often use inadequate and poor quality farm inputs, as well as ineffective cultivation practices. Farmers are unaware of the benefits of using quality inputs, and face challenges of accessing the right agricultural input (fertilisers, seeds, and agrochemicals) at the right time. When inputs are available, farmers often have to travel long distances to purchase them which increases their cost of production and decreases their profit margin. Knowledge of good agricultural practices is also a limiting factor in maximising their productivity and income.
Working with private sector partners, Propcom Mai-karfi (PM) has designed interventions and marketing strategies to make selected seeds (sesame and rice), fertilisers and crop protection products more available to smallholder farmers in the rural north, as well as to cascade trainings on good agricultural practices (GAP) to them.

Fertilisers

Propcom Mai-karfi partnered with Notore Chemical Industries to expand the fertiliser market and provide smallholder farmers with improved access to fertilisers through the introduction of 1kg and 10kg packs to the fertiliser market, as well as offering these farmers education on good agricultural practices. Notore established a distribution channel through which over 45,000 farmers bought small pack fertilisers.
To strengthen rural distribution networks further, PM is now collaborating with private fertiliser distributors to increase outreach to more smallholder farmers and grow the distributors’ market share. Fertiliser distributors identify rural promoters to work with, and PM trains and incentivises these promoters to establish demonstration plots and improve their performance in marketing small fertiliser packs to rural farmers. Farmers are trained using demonstration plots and receive some usage education from distributors after purchase.

Crop Protection Products (CPPs)

PM commenced partnering with agricultural input firm Syngenta in 2014 to develop and pilot a strategy to increase farmers’ access to CPPs and train them on proper handling and usage. The intervention has seen an increase in retail outlets in Kano and Katsina states, and strengthened the link between agro-dealers and farmers in the two states. PM supports Syngenta to establish demonstration plots and holds events to train farmers on good agricultural practices and CPPs application.

Seeds

In 2012, Propcom Maikarfi collaborated with the Adamawa Agricultural Development and Investment Ltd (AADIL) to pilot the provision of certified seeds to rural smallholder farmers in Adamawa state in affordable mini packs. Targeted farmers were encouraged to change from using seeds save from their farms to buying certified seeds to improve yields. 40,000 maize farmers, 300 groundnut farmers, and 300 soybean farmers were reached under the scheme.

In 2014, Propcom Mai-karfi supported Springfield Agro to pilot its Bada Koshi (‘to feed well’ in Hausa) distribution model for maize and rice seeds in three states; Kaduna, Gombe, and Kano. Springfield Agro trained 150 village based agents in the three states to provide a wider reach for its product and earn a commission. Springfield sold a cumulative 25,500 packs of seeds to 5,000 farmers.

Propcom Mai-karfi is currently supporting WACOT to roll out rural market expansion campaigns for rice and sesame seeds which address a) farmer knowledge and behaviour change on usage of certified seeds, and b) value chain constraints and improved seeds distribution models. The interventions and partnership leverage on WACOT’s expertise in seed multiplication, contract farming, and crop marketing in Nigeria, as well as Propcom Mai-karfi’s experience with facilitating capacity building for farmer groups to increase crop yield. Focusing initially on the pilot states of Katsina and FCT for sesame, and Kebbi state for rice, the partnership with WACOT aims to achieve the following:

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