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Joint Dissemination Event by GSSP and NSSP held in Accra, Ghana

2015 January 29
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Dissemination Event on Rice Value Chains in Nigeria and Ghana. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

Dissemination Event on Rice Value Chains in Nigeria and Ghana. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

The Ghana Strategy Support Program (GSSP) and the Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held a joint seminar covering two topics: 1) the rice economy in Nigeria and 2) value chains in Ghana, on January 22, 2015 in Accra, Ghana. The event was attended by members of the Ghanaian Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance, Development Partners, and other stakeholders. The event was chaired by Dr. Paul Dorosh, Division Director, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI.

Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima, Research Fellow, IFPRI and Dr. Michael Johnson, Research Fellow, IFRPI, presented findings on the Nigerian experience from their study, “Assessing the Potential and Policy Alternatives for Achieving Rice Competitiveness and Growth in Nigeria” (a policy note is available here). A more comprehensive overview of Nigeria’s rice economy will be published in the upcoming year in the forthcoming book, Achieving Rice Self-Sufficiency in Nigeria: Options for Future Strategies and Policies, edited by Dr. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, Dr. Michael Johnson, and Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima and published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The Ghanaian experience was also presented in a presentation entitled, “Reaching Smallholders through Value Chain Development” by Dr. Shashidhara Kolavalli, GSSP Program Leader/Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI.

ISSER/IFPRI Roundtable Discussion on Youth, Employment and Agriculture in Accra, Ghana

2015 January 28
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Panelists at the ISSER/IFPRI Roundtable Discussion on Youth, Employment and Agriculture. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

Panelists at the ISSER/IFPRI Roundtable Discussion on Youth, Employment and Agriculture. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

The Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held a roundtable discussion on the theme Youth, Employment and Agriculture on January 22, 2015 at the University of Ghana. The roundtable discussion looked at how the agricultural sector could serve as a provider of employment for youth and the conditions necessary for youth to embrace agriculture as a profession in Ghana. Presentations were made by each of the panelists on various topics of relevance to the above theme, such as: the dynamics of the Ghanaian labor market; the perceptions and aspirations of the youth; how agriculture can provide the kind of lifestyle that usually attracts the youth to urban areas and the effectiveness of public intervention; and global best practices. The panel consisted of: Dr. William Baah-Boateng (Senior Lecturer, Economics Department, University of Ghana), Dr. Nana Akua Anyidoho (Senior Research Fellow, ISEER), Alhaji Adam Mahama (National Coordinator, Youth in Agriculture Programme), Dr. Paul Dorosh (Division Director, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI), and Dr. James Thurlow (Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI). The discussion was moderated by Professor Felix Asante (Director, ISSER).

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New Publication: Loan Demand and Rationing among Small-Scale Farmers in Nigeria

2014 December 24
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Loan Demand and Rationing among Small-Scale Farmers in Nigeria by Aderibigbe Olomola and Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong as the 1403th publication in the IFPRI Discussion Paper Series. The IFPRI Discussion Paper was published on December 19, 2014.

Abstract: The credit market serving agriculture in Nigeria is encumbered by operational and administrative inadequacies and the discriminatory tendencies of financial institutions. The government has implemented policies to redress the situation, but small-scale farmers have not benefitted from these incentives to any reasonable degree. This makes it imperative to examine the factors circumscribing loan demand and the various rationing mechanisms. To this end, this study seeks to (1) examine the nature of risks facing small-scale farmer-borrowers in Nigeria, (2) analyze the demand for agricultural credit by farmers and highlight the key determinants of this demand, (3) ascertain the extent to which farmers are credit rationed and the factors influencing the emerging rationing scenarios, and (4) suggest policy measures to address the problem of agricultural credit rationing and enhance the demand for credit. The study employs primary data obtained from 1,200 small-scale farmers through a survey conducted in 2013 across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Methodologically, the study extends the analysis of credit rationing beyond quantity rationing and presents explicit econometric models for analyzing the determinants of three types of credit rationing:quantity rationing, risk rationing, and price rationing. The seemingly unrelated regression model is employed to ascertain the determinants of credit rationing. The results show that there is a higher probability that farmers will be rejected than that they will be given a loan amount lower than what was requested. We find that gender, geographical location, and marital status have no statistically significant effect on the probability that farmers will be quantity rationed. To address the credit rationing challenges and improve demand for loans by small-scale farmers, we urge banks to mobilize their resources to train potential borrowers and establish loan-monitoring committees at the grassroots level to serve as insurance against the risk of loan default.

New Publication: Business Operations of Agrodealers and their Participation in the Loan Market in Nigeria

2014 December 23
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Business Operations of Agrodealers and their Participation in the Loan Market in Nigeria by Aderibigbe Olomola as the 1400th publication in the IFPRI Discussion Paper Series. The IFPRI Discussion Paper was published on December 19, 2014.
Abstract: The weaknesses in the financial and technical capacity of Nigeria’s agrodealers came to light when many of them could not provide the financial backing for their role in distributing inputs under the growth enhancement support scheme. They are also not adequately equipped, organized, or buoyant enough to be able to access adequate loan facilities from commercial banks. These weaknesses underscore the need to examine the various aspects of agrodealership financing and to unravel agrodealers’ participation in the loan market. It is also important to look at the extent to which agrodealers are credit rationed in order to articulate suitable financing mechanisms that will enable them to discharge their responsibilities in a sustainable fashion. This study employs primary data collected through structured questionnaires from 300 agrodealers and uses a Tobit type-II model for the analysis. The results show that interest rate, debt, value of asset, membership of trading association, and source of credit are major determinants of loan demand. Agrodealers need to organize themselves into input trading associations to enhance their creditworthiness and to unleash the inherent social capital and information advantages for improved agrodealership financing. Moreover, diversification of product coverage by agrodealers and a value-chain approach that links internal financing in the form of trade credit within the agro-input sector, with external financing from the commercial banks, are strongly recommended.

New Publication: Irrigation Potential in Nigeria: Some Perspectives Based on Factor Endowments, Tropical Nature, and Patterns in Favorable Areas

2014 December 22
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Irrigation Potential in Nigeria: Some Perspectives Based on Factor Endowments, Tropical Nature, and Patterns in Favorable Areas by Hiroyuki Takeshima and Margaret Adesugba as the 1399th publication in the IFPRI Discussion Paper Series. The IFPRI Discussion Paper was published on December 19, 2014.
Abstract: Increased adoption of irrigation is often considered critical for agricultural transformation in countries in Africa south of the Sahara such as Nigeria. Information is, however, still limited regarding how irrigation potential and comparative advantage may depend on endowments of various production factors, what are the feasible options for irrigation expansion in tropical regions like Nigeria, and what may be the challenges in favorable areas where current irrigation appears relatively productive but substantial room for improvement still exists. Addressing these questions is important because effectiveness of policies promoting irrigation expansion may depend partly on the answers to these questions. Addressing these questions in a rigorous way is challenging. In this paper, we briefly explore these three perspectives that can be useful in the future assessment of irrigation potential in Nigeria: (1) factor endowments, (2) challenges inherent in the tropics, and (3) experiences in a favorable area within Nigeria. In Nigeria, population (and to some extent agricultural population) is growing fast, the water to labor ratio is declining quickly, and expansion potential for agricultural areas is increasingly exhausted. Nigeria is becoming relatively water stressed. The share of irrigated areas in Nigeria may exceed that of more land-abundant countries like the United States or Australia in the long term but may not reach Asian levels. A successful expansion of irrigation, if it occurs, may be labor based in the short to medium term. Agricultural research and development (R&D) may critically affect general water productivity in farming, which determines whether water is used more intensively in the agricultural sector or diverted to the nonagricultural sector. Second, irrigation expansion in Nigeria is likely to face constraints due to the country’s tropical environment. Expansion is affected by the climate, agricultural R&D efforts, growth of commercial demand, and the success of vertical coordination such as plantations. In the short to medium term, rice may have the greatest irrigation potential for achieving poverty reduction and food security improvement if complemented by, among other things, sufficient investments in rice R&D. Achieving these goals through irrigation of other crops will require more complicated processes. Third, a survey of the Bakolori irrigation scheme in northwestern Nigeria shows that it is possible in parts of Nigeria to realize high yields that are comparable to more advanced countries’. However, even there, substantial yield gaps still exist, possibly associated with insufficient domestic rice R&D in Nigeria. This is consistent with experiences in other countries.

New Publication: Analysis of Agricultural Public Expenditure in Nigeria: Examination at the Federal, State, and Local Government Level

2014 December 16
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Analysis of Agricultural Public Expenditure in Nigeria: Examination at the Federal, State, and Local Government Level by Aderibigbe Olomola, Tewodaj Mogues, Tolulope Olofinbiyi, Chinedum Nwoko, Edet Udoh, Reuben Alabi, Justice Onu, and Sileshi Woldeyohannes as the 1395th publication in the IFPRI Discussion Paper Series. The IFPRI Discussion Paper was published on December 11, 2014.

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Abstract: The level of public spending on agriculture in Nigeria remains low regardless of the indicator used. Agricultural spending as a share of total federal spending averaged 4.6 percent between 2008 and 2012 and has been trending downward precipitously. In contrast, Nigeria recorded an annual average agricultural growth rate of more than 6 percent between 2003 and 2010, and agricultural gross domestic product followed an increasing trend between 2008 and 2012. Budgetary allocation to agriculture compared with other key sectors is also low despite the sector’s role in the fight against poverty, hunger, and unemployment and in the pursuit of economic development. Public investment has been stifled by the lopsided manner in which national revenue is being allocated among the three tiers of government that have responsibility for agricultural development. Subnational governments rely heavily on statutory allocations from the federation account to finance their budgets. Delays in concluding the transfer arrangements and periodic oil revenue shocks often account for delays or outright nonrelease of funds for budget implementation. Technical inefficiency in public spending has been more prevalent at the subnational level than at the federal level. In relative terms, however, the problem of technical inefficiency is far more acute than that of allocative inefficiency. At the federal level agricultural spending was aligned with development objectives in 2012 compared with previous years. During 2012, the federal budget allocated more than 73 percent of actual capital expenditures to crop agriculture, but a large part of the expenditure on crop value chains went to subsidies for inputs, including fertilizers, seedlings, and agrochemicals. But findings of the benefit incidence analysis of public spending on fertilizer subsidy suggest that the target population of the program has not benefited as intended. Allocative efficiency of overhead spending was generally poor between 2008 and 2012 because of the tendency for overhead spending to be used to support the bureaucracy rather than operations and service delivery. At the subnational level, the performance of state governments in terms of budget execution and the fact that larger deviations than at the national level are experienced between capital and recurrent budgets point to a need to address the quality of spending.
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NSSP Participates in Stakeholders’ Session Towards Finalizing the ATA Food Security and Nutrition Strategy

2014 December 12
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Dr. Oluyemisi Kuku-Shittu, Associate Research Fellow NSSP/IFPRI, presenting at the Stakeholder's session. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

Dr. Oluyemisi Kuku-Shittu, Associate Research Fellow NSSP/IFPRI, presenting at the Stakeholders' Session Towards Finalizing the ATA Food Security and Nutrition Strategy. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) held a Stakeholders' Session Towards Finalizing the ATA Food Security and Nutrition Strategy on December 11, 2014  to update stakeholders on the progress made toward the finalization of the ATA Food Security and Nutrition Security Strategy. The goal of this session was to reengage stakeholders on key aspects of the strategy that had been developed since the National Capacity Building Workshop on Mainstreaming Food and Nutrition Security into Agricultural Policies, Programmes and Value Chains held in August 2014 and to get input on key aspects of the strategy. The session was organized by the Nutrition Transformation Value Chain (NTVC) team and coordinated by the Senior Advisor to the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Food Security and Nutrition, Dr. Victor Ajieroh.

In support of FMARD's goal to mainstream nutrition into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Dr. Oluyemisi Kuku-Shittu, Associate Research Fellow in the Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) made a presentation entitled, "Examples of Indicators for Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture : Insights form the CFSVA study and others." The presentation highlighted key indicators identified through IFPRI research and the 2001-2003 Nigeria Food Consumption and Nutrition Survey that would need to be measured  by as part of a monitoring and evaluation component of the ATA Food Security and Nutrition Security Strategy.

Global Nutrition Report 2014

2014 November 19
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Global Nutrition Report 2014

Good nutrition is the bedrock of human well-being. Before birth and throughout infancy, good nutrition allows brain functioning to evolve without impairment and immune systems to develop more robustly. For young children, good nutrition status averts death and equips the body to grow and develop to its full potential. Over the course of the human lifespan, it leads to more effective learning at school, better-nourished mothers who give birth to better-nourished children, and adults who are likelier to be productive and earn higher wages. In middle age, it gives people metabolisms that are better prepared to ward off the diseases associated with changes in diet and physical activity. Without good nutrition, people’s lives and livelihoods are built on quicksand.

Good nutrition is also central to the sustainable development agenda that is taking shape in the form of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now under discussion. Inherently sustaining, good nutrition flows throughout the life cycle and across the generations. It promotes individual resilience in the face of shocks and uncertainties generated by climate change and extreme price fluctuations. It supports the generation of innovations needed to meet the joint challenge of improving the lives of current and future generations in ways that are environmentally sustainable.

This Global Nutrition Report is the first in an annual series. It tracks worldwide progress in improving nutrition status, identifies bottlenecks to change, highlights opportunities for action, and contributes to strengthened nutrition accountability. The report series was created through a commitment of the signatories of the Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013. It is supported by a wide-ranging group of stakeholders and delivered by an Independent Group of Experts in partnership with a large number of external contributors.

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New Publication: Capacity Assessment for Achieving the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in Nigeria, NSSP Working Paper No. 26

2014 November 5
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Capacity Assessment for Achieving the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in Nigeria by Suresh Babu, Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, Manson Nwafor, and Hyacinth Edeh in the NSSP Working Paper Series (Working Paper No. 26).

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Abstract: Transformation of the agricultural sector has become a development imperative for many African countries in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals that relate to improved food security and reduced hunger. Nigeria is no excep-tion and has recently initiated its own program with this objective, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Lessons from transforming traditional agriculture in the past have shown that for every level of sectoral transformation, corresponding levels of organizational and individual human capacity must be attained as well. This report presents the findings and recommendations of a capacity needs assessment study carried out between July and September 2012 in the context of the ATA. In this paper, we document an approach to capacity strengthening in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to implement the ATA. The objectives of this report include mapping key institutions and stakeholders, analyzing institutional capacity strengths and gaps, and making recommendations to improve these capacities in relation to their proposed implementation roles. This report also identifies the leadership and management structure required within FMARD for the successful implementation of the ATA. We then make recommendations to improve capacity at the policy process and organizational levels to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of FMARD. Capacity assessments were carried out at three levels: the policy process level, the organizational level, and the individual level.

NSSP Participates in the Strategic Planning Workshop for Capacity Development of FMARD (October 20-24, 2014)

2014 October 27
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Dr. George Mavrotas, Senior Research Fellow DSGD-IFPRI/NSSP Program Leader, presenting an IFPRI white paper on experiences from other countries. Photo: ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

Dr. George Mavrotas, Senior Research Fellow DSGD-IFPRI/NSSP Program Leader, presenting an IFPRI white paper on experiences from other countries. Photo: ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

In 2012, IFPRI and Africa Lead, at the request of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and USAID, prepared a report to map the key institutions/organizations which would drive the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and identify their capacity development needs in order to ensure that the goals of the ATA will be achieved. More importantly, this report was to set in place a structure, process and habit of thought and analysis that would lead to better designed, delivered, and measured agriculture programs in Nigeria leading to greater agriculture productivity and food security over the long run. In response to this report, FMARD conducted a five-day Strategic Planning Workshop on Capacity Development from October 20th-24th, 2014 to prepare the building blocks for a structured and prioritized five-year capacity development plan.

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NSSP Participates in World Food Day

2014 October 24
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Motunrayo Oyeymi, Senior Research Assistant of the Nigeria Strategy Support Program, informing participants about IFPRI and NSSP.

Motunrayo Oyeymi, Senior Research Assistant of the Nigeria Strategy Support Program, informing participants about IFPRI and NSSP.

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) celebrated the 2014 World Food Day between the 13th and 16th of October with a series of activities. On October 15th, a National Agricultural Show was held in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State to showcase agricultural products and the various endeavors of agricultural organizations and associations in furthering the development of agricultural sectors. Amongst the many organizations present were the National Veterinary Research Institute, Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research, National Cereals Research Institute, National Horticultural Research Institute, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) alongside the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) held a joint exhibit at the event. Nigeria Strategy Support Program's (NSSP) Senior Research Assistant, Motunrayo Oyeyemi, informed attendants on IFPRI's mission to provide research-based policy solutions that sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition and NSSP's aims to: 1) enhance knowledge through information, data, and tools for the analysis, design, and implementation of pro-poor, gender-sensitive, and environmentally sustainable agricultural and rural development polices and strategies in Nigeria; 2) strengthen the capacity of government agencies, research institutions, and others to carry out and use applied research for agricultural and rural polices and strategies; and 3) improve communication between policymakers, policy analysts, and those who benefit from agricultural and rural development policy. In addition, Dr. George Mavrotas, Program Leader of NSSP, and Dr. Yemisi Kuku-Shittu, Associate Research Fellow, attended the 2014 World Food Day Symposium held in Abuja.

New Publication: Determinants of Agro-Dealers’ Participation in the Loan Market in Nigeria

2014 October 23
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Determinants of Agro-Dealers’ Participation in the Loan Market in Nigeria by Professor Aderibigbe Olomola, Senior Economist/Consultant for NSSP in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (Vol. 17 Issue. 3). The publication was published in September 2014.

Abstract: Agro-dealership financing deserves policy attention if agro-dealers are to contribute to the success of the ongoing agricultural transformation in Nigeria. Thus, this study seeks to (i) examine the issues influencing the decisions of agro-dealers to participate in the loan market, (ii) analyze the demand for business loan by the agro-dealers and (iii) articulate policy measures for sustainable financing of agro-input business enterprises in Nigeria. The study employed primary data collected through structured questionnaires from 300 agro-dealers and used a Tobit type-II model for the analysis. The results show that interest rate, debt, value of asset, membership of trading association and source of credit are major determinants of loan demand. Agro-dealers need to organize themselves into input trading associations to enhance their creditworthiness and unleash the inherent social capital and information advantages for improved agro-dealership financing. Moreover, diversification of product coverage by agro-dealers and a value-chain approach that links internal financing in the form of trade credit within the agro-input sector with external financing from the commercial banks are strongly recommended.

NSSP presents at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists

2014 October 22
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program’s Senior Economist/Consultant, Professor Aderibigbe Olomola, and Senior Research Assistant, Margaret Adesugba, presented their paper titled, “Transforming Nigerian Agriculture in the Context of a Green Economy: Financing Challenges, Opportunities and Mechanisms,” at the 15th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists held at Niger Delta University (Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State) on October 13th, 2014.

Although the agricultural sector has demonstrated improved performance since the inception of the Argricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in 2011, financing bottlenecks remain; and the major concern is the lack of emphasis on green finance. The paper advocates for financing mechanisms to support a transformation agenda that moves agriculture away from activities that are nature degrading and environment polluting to those that are nature preserving and environment friendly. It argues that an agricultural financing framework to engender a green economy in Nigeria must be pursued within the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation in which the integration between economic, social and environmental pillars of development are recognized and reinforced. Specifically, the paper examines the gaps between agricultural transformation and green finance in Nigeria, identifies the constraints and opportunities for green agriculture financing and articulates appropriate financing mechanisms. These include value chain financing to support integrated farming systems, support for organic agriculture by NIRSAL, financing of product and agricultural system certification, financing the monitoring of natural resource exploitation and restoration, financing the development of climate change buffers, inter-agency collaboration in financing desert encroachment and restoration of degraded land and mainstreaming green finance in the implementation of the staple crop processing zone component of ATA. In conclusion, the paper calls for the crafting of a “green-print” for a green agricultural economy – a well-informed policy layout for greening agricultural growth in Nigeria with an implementation plan to serve as the solid investment foundation required for the industrialization of the Nigerian economy.

New Publication by NSSP Senior Research Assistant Margaret Adesugba

2014 October 21
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Economic Value of Livestock Loss on Pastoralists’ Livelihood:  An Analysis of Ethiopian Pastoralist Households by NSSP Senior Research Assistant Margaret Abiodun Adesugba, in the Journal of Research in Agriculture and Animal Science (Vol. 2 Issue 7). The article was published in August 2014.

Abstract: This study estimates the value of livestock loss among Ethiopian Highland pastoralists using a method of valuation that explores their willingness to pay to prevent livestock loss should a disaster occur from the marginal productivities of the breeds that they keep. The theoretical linear household production model motivates the study since it explains households profit maximizing behavior given certain constraints. A normal linear model was estimated using Bayesian methodology with Gibbs sampling algorithm to get the marginal productivities of the two genetic resources namely; local and cross breed cows that the household use as animate inputs which is fundamental for the valuation exercise. Crossbred cows had higher marginal productivity than local breeds as expected. The value of economic loss from both the cross breed and local cows was calculated as $34,332,395,932.65 and $38,720,845,644.67 in 2012 value respectively. The amount of loss has a ripple effect that spreads from the household level to the National level and that the marginal productivities of the breeds that households keep influences the number of improved breeds that they own and also reflects the non-traded value.

IFPRI releases the 2014 Global Hunger Index

2014 October 15
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Global_Hunger_Index_2014_240The 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the ninth in an annual series—presents a multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger. It shows that the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 1990, but still has far to go, with levels of hunger remaining “alarming” or “extremely alarming” in 16 countries.

This year’s report focuses on a critical aspect of hunger that is often overlooked: hidden hunger. Also known as micronutrient deficiency, hidden hunger affects more than an estimated 2 billion people globally. The repercussions of these vitamin and mineral deficiencies are both serious and long-lasting. Where hidden hunger has taken root, it not only prevents people from surviving and thriving as productive members of society, it also holds countries back in a cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, lost productivity, persistent poverty, and reduced economic growth.

Nigeria has steadily been reducing it's GHI score since 1990, but the severity of hunger in the country remains classified as "serious" according to the report. While Nigeria is preforming better than Sub-Saharan Africa as whole, it has only surpassed Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Sierra Leone in West Africa. This is partially due to the increased violence in the northern Nigeria as displaced populations and their host communities face a higher risk of food insecurity, malnutrition, and epidemics.

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Inauguration of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Policy Working Group

2014 October 9
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Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP Program Leader, delivering a goodwill speech in support of the goals of the ATA Policy Working Group.

Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP Program Leader, delivering a goodwill speech in support of the goals of the ATA Policy Working Group.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) inaugurated the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) Policy Working Group with a two-day high-level workshop on September 15-16th, 2014. The event was attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Minister of State, the Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture for the Senate and the Chairman of the House of Representatives, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, and other high level government officials. In support of the creation of the ATA Policy Working Group, the Nigeria Strategy Support Program’s Leader, Dr. George Mavrotas, joined donors and other key stakeholders in offering IFPRI’s support to the goals of the ATA Policy Working Group through a goodwill speech.

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Capacity Assessment of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda

2014 October 9
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Africa Lead and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) carried out a study in 2012 to assess the capacity needs of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). The study entitled, Assessment of Nigeria Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) and Capacity Building Needs, identified key areas that required strengthening with the FMARD in order to efficiently implement the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). On September 10th, 2014 a meeting at the FMARD was convened to share the findings of the Africa Lead/IFPRI report along with other studies conducted by Monitor Deloitte and ActionAid Nigeria to key members of the FMARD and the donor community in support of the FMARD’s efforts to create a 5-year work plan to address these issues.

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Mainstreaming Nutrition into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda

2014 October 9
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Dr. Todd Benson presenting at the National Capacity Building Workshop on Mainstreaming Food and Nutrition Security into Agricultural Policies, Programmes, and Value Chains. Photo: ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

The Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Government of Nigeria has articulated the need for the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to unlock Nigeria’s potential to improve availability and access to nutritious foods in order to improve food and nutrition security through agriculture. As a result, a two-day National Capacity Building Workshop on Mainstreaming Food and Nutrition Security into Agricultural Policies, Programmes and Value Chains was held in Abuja on August 27th and 28th, 2014. The workshop was organized by the Nutrition Transformation Value Chain (NTVC) team and coordinated by the Senior Advisor to the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Food Security and Nutrition, Dr. Victor Ajieroh.

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NSSP Welcomes Dr. George Mavrotas as Program Leader

2014 October 8
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mavrotas (1)

Photo: © Kwan Choi.

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Program Leader, Dr. George Mavrotas. Dr. Mavrotas has a dual appointment as a Senior Research Fellow with the Development Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC and as the Program Leader of the Nigeria Strategy Support Program in our Abuja office.

Dr. George Mavrotas is a leading development economist with more than 25 years of experience in international development. He is a renowned scholar and expert in the overall nexus between macroeconomics and development finance, including the macroeconomics of foreign aid effectiveness and domestic resource mobilization, financial sector development and poverty reduction. Other research interests include primary commodity markets and natural resources, agricultural policies, human capital development (with an emphasis on the economics of education & training) as well as international migration and urbanization and development. He has extensive developing country experience (particularly in Africa and Asia) and worked in multi-cultural environments for many years. Other current honorary appointments include a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for International Development Study and Research (Ferdi, France), an External Research Associate at the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of the Resource Rich Economies (OxCarre) of the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, and an Associate Fellow at the Centre of Regional Integration Studies of the United Nations University in Bruges. He has also served as a member in various international committees on development issues and as an advisor to many international organizations.

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New Publication: Tractor Owner-Operators in Nigeria

2014 October 8
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The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Tractor Owner-Operators in Nigeria by Hiroyuki Takeshima, Hyacinth Edeh, Akeem Lawal, and Moshud Isiaka as the 1355th publication in the IFPRI Discussion Paper Series. The IFPRI Discussion Paper was published on June 20, 2014.

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Abstract: Agricultural mechanization is integral to agricultural transformation in countries like Nigeria. Despite the perceived rise in farm labor costs, most farmers still rely on manual labor or draught animals for farming activities, and tractor users are limited. In Nigeria, private tractor owners, rather than government hiring service units, provide a majority of plowing service. Unlike other more scale-neutral inputs, such as fertilizer and improved seeds, significant economies of scale may exist in tractors, which may justify certain public interventions. Understanding the characteristics of tractor service providers is therefore essential in designing an appropriate agricultural mechanization policy. However, information regarding the nature of tractor service provisions is scarce, especially in countries like Nigeria. This paper presents results of a small survey of tractor owner-operators conducted in Kaduna and Nasarawa states in Nigeria. Following are the key findings from simple descriptive statistics: (1) owner-operators who buy tractors from the private market or from private individuals are more efficient than those who receive tractors through government programs, providing services to a greater area at lower costs, including during the off-peak season; (2) providing access to a wider range of tractor horse powers may improve efficiency over diverse soil types; (3) similar to some Asian countries in the 1980s, tractor operations are mostly concentrated in interviewees’ local home districts, though a fraction form groups and serve in distant locations to earn greater revenues. This paper concludes with a discussion of some policy implications.