The Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) program has just launched three agriculture-focused research projects that are testing innovative ways to empower rural families in Nigeria to improve their productivity and incomes, as well as their resilience to weather-related shocks caused by climate change.

“With support from USAID, these research teams are addressing some of the fundamental challenges that keep many rural families in Nigeria from achieving food security and resilience,” said Dr. David Ameyaw, co-director of Feed the Future ALL-IN and president and CEO of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED). “These projects are led by researchers who understand the context and culture on this continent and who are closely related to policy makers and understand the intricacies of policy.”

Many small-scale farmers in Nigeria lack access to markets where they can sell their harvest. Dr. Khadijat B. Amolegbe at the University of Ilorin is leading a project that provides digital literacy training so farmers can use their mobile phones to access e-commerce sites to sell their harvest. The digital skills training program covers basic skills, and training is delivered in farmers’ local languages. The program includes a digital directory with details of certified online marketing platforms, digital marketing experts and website developers.

The risk of weather-related shocks can quickly drive a vulnerable rural family in Nigeria into dire circumstances. This challenge is especially difficult for women farmers who face multiple additional barriers. A project led by Dr. Opeyemi Eyitayo Ayinde at the University of Ilorin takes a comprehensive approach to this risk by testing a bundle of agricultural financial literacy, index insurance and stress-tolerant maize to strengthen women farmers’ productivity, income and resilience.

Agricultural insurance is a critical tool for rural families who face a risk of severe drought, but it remains out of reach for Muslim families because it does not comply with Islamic law. A research team led by Dr. Peter P. Njiforti at Ahmadu Bello University is developing and testing a Sharia-compliant mutual insurance contract in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Nigeria where predominantly Muslim farmers have few options for managing weather-related risk. The results of this project will provide a new risk-management tool for Muslim farmers and could unlock the growth of inclusive agricultural value chains for all farmers in the region.

These three Feed the Future ALL-IN research teams in Nigeria are leveraging their knowledge and skills as well as their relationships with government officials and local organizations to ensure their results strengthen development policy. The projects will provide tested evidence on the kinds of programming that have positive impacts as well as a detailed understanding of why they work.

“With the growing capacity in African universities and other institutions, it’s time for more of our local partners to take the lead,” said Dr. Michael Carter, co-director of Feed the Future ALL-IN and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience at the University of California, Davis. “We anticipate that doing so will enhance the relevance and long-term impacts of this research.”

Feed the Future ALL-IN was established by USAID as a partnership between International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), with offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience (MRR) based at the University of California, Davis. ALL-IN funds researchers at African institutions to lead large-scale international research collaborations, leveraging their local knowledge, skills and ideas to build actionable evidence for promoting resilience and inclusive agricultural growth. For more, visit: https://basis.ucdavis.edu/all-in.

This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Feed the Future ALL-IN and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Media contacts:

Dr. David Ameyaw, dameyaw@iced-eval.org

International Centre for Evaluation and Development

Alex Russell, parussell@ucdavis.edu

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience

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