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A Joint NSSP and GSSP Policy Note has just been published – Agricultural Mechanization and South-South Knowledge Exchange: What can Ghanaian and Nigerian policymakers learn from Bangladesh’s experience?

2016 February 9
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In 2015, 95 per cent of the farm area in Bangladesh was cultivated using mechanized equipment, a massive increase from 30 per cent in the mid-1990s. read more...

IFPRI and the NSSP Office Contribute to the National Workshop for the Reform of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN)

2015 December 15
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(From left to right) Dr George Mavrotas, Program Leader, Head of Office for IFPRI Nigeria, Dr Suresh Babu, IFPRI's Head of Capacity Strengthening and Prof. B. Y. Abubakar, executive Secretary of ARCN. Photo Credits- Elisabeth Douglas

(From left to right) Dr George Mavrotas, Program Leader, Head of Office for IFPRI Nigeria, Dr Suresh Babu, IFPRI's Head of Capacity Strengthening and Prof. B. Y. Abubakar, Executive Secretary of ARCN. Photo Credits- Elisabeth Douglas (c) 2015

As Nigeria works towards reforming its agricultural research system, more effective collaboration between its national research institutions and international research centres such as the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is an important ingredient to strengthening further the system. This was the key message delivered by Dr George Mavrotas, Senior Research Fellow and Head of IFPRI Office in Abuja, at the National Workshop for the reform of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) held on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 December 2015 in Abuja. Dr Mavrotas also stressed that IFPRI is a natural partner in this important exercise in view of its dynamic presence with an IFPRI Office and country program in Nigeria since 2007.

The Workshop was the final stakeholder National Workshop on the ARCN Reform that had participants within the spectrum of top management of various relevant ministries, agencies, research & allied institutions, parliament, development partners, farmers’ organizations & other relevant stakeholders. This was a culmination of the various earlier zonal retreats and change management workshops that held in Ibadan, Enugu and Kaduna in October and November 2015. The key objective of the ARCN transformation work is to study in depth the organization of the agricultural research system in Nigeria with a view to develop a strategy for transforming the ARCN (and its component research institutes) into a more efficient and functional body capable of driving agricultural development and change in Nigeria.

Dr Suresh Babu making his presentation at the National ARCN Reform Workshop in Abuja. Photo Credits- Elisabeth Douglas (c) 2015

Dr Suresh Babu making his presentation at the National ARCN Reform Workshop in Abuja. Photo Credits- Elisabeth Douglas (c) 2015

Drawing on best practices in agricultural research management from countries like Brazil, China and India, Dr Suresh Babu (Senior Research Fellow & IFPRI’s Head of Capacity Strengthening), who is leading the ARCN transformation study on behalf of IFPRI, highlighted in his presentation the need for Nigeria to ensure a strong link between its national research agenda and its collaborative partnerships by strengthening the ARCN. Dr Babu advised that having a strong and more efficient Agricultural Research Council in the country would contribute to better coordination of the system by ensuring that knowledge sharing is better managed and that any partnerships with international research centres were in line with the national agenda for the agricultural sector. In his concluding remarks, Prof. B. Y. Abubakar, Executive Secretary of ARCN, also mentioned that an additional workshop will be held in the first quarter of 2016 for the validation of the reform strategy.

New Publication: Determinants of adoption of improved cassava varieties among farming households in Oyo, Benue, and Akwa Ibom states of Nigeria

2015 November 25
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce a new publication from the International Food Policy Research Institute's HarvestPlus program entitled "Determinants of adoption of improved cassava varieties among farming households in Oyo, Benue, and Akwa Ibom states of Nigeria"  by Abdoulaye Tahirou, A.S. Bamire, Adewale Oparinde, and A.A. Akinola as the 20th publication of the HarvestPlus Working Paper Series.

Abstract: Biofortified pro-vitamin A cassava varieties are being developed and deployed in Nigeria and other countries. Understanding the adoption pathways of already released non-biofortified improved cassava varieties can inform decision makers on how best to disseminate the newly developed varieties. This paper empirically investigated factors influencing adoption of the improved cassava varieties in Akwa Ibom, Benue, and Oyo states in Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a sample of 1,609 farming households. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Probit regression model. The results* showed that Oyo State had the highest reported rate of improved cassava use (69 percent of farmers surveyed), followed by Benue (52 percent), with the lowest in Akwa Ibom (38 percent). The variables that significantly influenced adoption of improved cassava varieties include education (p<0.01), livestock ownership (p<0.05), access to extension services (p<0.01), farmers’ organizations (p<0.05), participation in demonstration trials, and location-specific variables (p<0.01). The positive influence of the location-specific variable in favor of Oyo compared with Benue could be linked to proximity to, and the activities of, international and national research institutes. Within states, regression analysis reveals significant differences across agricultural extension zones. This suggests the need to develop localized strategies that account for applicable socioeconomic and institutional conditions. To increase adoption, an intensive program for farmers’ participation in on-farm demonstration trials should be considered. This can be achieved by facilitating group formation to encourage increased knowledge sharing among members, thereby promoting uptake of newly developed pro-vitamin A cassava varieties.

New Publication in the NSSP Working Paper Series: “Driving Agricultural Transformation with the Power of Information and Communication Technology: The Performance of Nigeria’s Growth Enhancement Support Scheme”

2015 November 16
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of the paper entitled "Driving Agricultural Transformation with the Power of Information and Communication Technology: The Performance of Nigeria's Growth Enhancement Support Scheme" by Professor Aderibigbe S. Olomola in the NSSP Working Paper Series (Working Paper No. 30).

Abstract: Nigeria liberalized input distribution and established the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) in 2011 to deliver subsidized inputs to farmers as part of its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Despite the relevance of the GESS as a subsidy delivery mechanism, its achievements during the first year of implementation (2012) were below expectations. In 2015, as the first phase of the GESS is ending, has there been any significant improvement in its implementation? What improvements have occurred in redemption and participation rates? Even though the GESS is known to be making contributions in terms of ensuring direct access by farmers to subsidized inputs, the main determinants of farmers’ participation remain unknown. This study seeks to (i) examine the application of ICT innovations in the implementation of the GESS; (ii) assess its implementation performance from inception to date; and (iii) determine the factors influencing farmers’ participation in the scheme. The study is timely and has significant policy relevance judging by the desire of the government of Nigeria to understand the performance of the GESS in view of the enormous financial and material resources that have been committed to the scheme since its inception in 2012. An evaluation of the performance of the GESS will provide the government with feedback required for making adjustments in input subsidy spending, especially in the face of the recently declining oil revenues. It becomes imperative to have evidence to inform policy decisions regarding possible adjustments as the scheme passes over the first phase.

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NSSP participates in the HarvestPlus Nutritious Food Fair

2015 November 10
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by imasias

NSSP Senior Research Assistant, Motunrayo Oyeyemi, informing fair participants of NSSP's work in Nigeria. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

NSSP Senior Research Assistant, Motunrayo Oyeyemi, informing participants of NSSP's work in Nigeria. ©IFPRI/Ian Masias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) participated in the HarvestPlus Nutritious Food Fair on November 4-5, 2015 at IITA Station in Kubwa, Abuja. The intention of the fair was to bring together stakeholders in the public and private sectors, working on market-based solutions to malnutrition, to exhibit products, showcase opportunities and discuss challenges faced by investors and marketers in delivering nutritious food to Nigerians. NSSP held a small exhibition of recent International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and NSSP publications and informed participants of IFPRI's work globally and NSSP's work in Nigeria.

HarvestPlus supports the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) to breed, test, and release vitamin A cassava developed through a partnership with the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). HarvestPlus works with public and private sector partners to multiply vitamin A cassava stems and distribute to farmers. Their network of extension agents and rural facilitators receive training in best agronomic practices, which they pass along to farmers at the household level. Creative public awareness campaigns leverage the power of mass media, including that of Nollywood, in educating Nigerians on micronutrient deficiencies and the benefits of vitamin A cassava. They are also creating and strengthening demand by supporting commercial processing of vitamin A cassava into popularly consumed products such as gari and fufu that are marketed nationwide. Innovative strategies to promote adoption and consumption include one-stop shop models where consumers can buy vitamin A cassava stems, tubers, and ready-to-eat products such as pies, cakes, and fufu. HarvestPlus' advocacy seeks to strengthen national ownership of biofortification through effective integration into national nutrition and agricultural policies. This whole strategy will be employed from 2016 to deliver vitamin A maize to millions of Nigerians particularly targeting the middle belt where maize is a major staple.

2015 Global Nutrition Report: Actions and Accountability to Advance Nutrition and Sustainable Development

2015 October 21
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by imasias

GNRThe Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Global Nutrition Report: Actions and Accountability to Advance Nutrition and Sustainable Development recently released by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Children whose growth is stunted, people who don’t get enough vitamins and minerals for a healthy life, adults who are overweight and obese—malnutrition takes many forms and affects every country on earth. A problem of staggering size, malnutrition is widespread enough to threaten the world’s sustainable development ambitions.

The Global Nutrition Report 2015 is a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it. It assesses countries’ progress in meeting global nutrition targets established by the World Health Assembly. It documents how well countries, aid donors, NGOs, businesses, and others are meeting the commitments they made at the major Nutrition for Growth summit in 2013. And it spells out the actions that proven effective in combating malnutrition in all its forms.

The 2015 report makes it clear that global progress to reduce malnutrition has been slow and uneven. Nearly half of all countries face multiple serious burdens of malnutrition such as poor child growth, micronutrient deficiency, and adult overweight and obesity. No country is on track to achieve the global nutrition targets established by the World Health Assembly. Some countries, however, have made notable progress and the Report seeks to understand the factors that contributed to improvements.

The second in an annual series, the Global Nutrition Report 2015 also highlights the critical relationship between climate change and nutrition, as well as the pivotal role business can play in advancing nutrition. It considers how countries can build food systems that are more nutrition friendly and sustainable.
With a wealth of data and analysis, the report aims to improve accountability among the governments, institutions, businesses, and others whose actions affect people’s nutrition. It is accompanied by extensive supplementary online data, including nutritional profiles for 193 countries, 6 regions, and 22 subregions.

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2015 Global Hunger Index: Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger

2015 October 15
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by imasias

2IJaEFcquhaqVlva-LqPDrubp0QaPsnuD5H116EaHL4The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Global Hunger Index: Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger by Klaus Von Grebmer, Jill Bernstein, Alex De Waal, Nilam Prasai, Sandra Yin, and Yisehac Yohannes. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger. By raising awareness and understanding of regional and country differences in hunger, the GHI aims to trigger actions to reduce hunger.

The level of hunger in developing countries as a group has fallen by 27 percent since 2000. While the world has made progress in reducing hunger in recent decades, the state of hunger is still serious or alarming in 52 countries.

These findings come from the 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, the tenth in an annual series that tracks the state of hunger worldwide, regionally, and by country, turning a spotlight on those regions and countries where action is needed most to address hunger.

This report's GHI scores are based on a new, improved formula that reflects the multidimensional nature of hunger by combining four indicators related to undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality.

The report features an essay, "Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger: Is an End in Sight?" In it, Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation, shares a scoop about a historic achievement. Calamitous famines—those that cause more than 1 million deaths each—seem to have disappeared. He analyzes the reasons behind the famines as well as what needs to be done to prevent them from coming back.

Although hunger and armed conflict have often traveled hand in hand, history has shown that hunger can be averted. If humanitarian responses in the modern world are effective, conflict need not necessarily lead to the extreme hunger that is famine.

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New Journal Publication – Characteristics of private-sector tractor service provisions: Insights from Nigeria

2015 September 21
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of “Characteristics of private-sector tractor service provisions: Insights from Nigeria” by Hiroyuki Takeshima, Hyacinth O. Edeh, Akeem O. Lawal, Moshud A. Isiaka in The Developing Economies (Vol. 54 Issue 3).

Abstract: Agricultural mechanization has been integral to agricultural transformation during periods of development. Mechanization-service provisions can be constrained by economies of scale, seasonality, limited mobility, or heterogeneous inputs quality. However, information has been scarce regarding how the private sector has overcome these constraints especially in countries like Nigeria that are at low agricultural development stages. We present the results of a small survey of tractor owner-operators conducted in Nigeria. We find that existing private-sector tractor-hiring services in Nigeria are indeed constrained. However, we also find heterogeneity among these owner-operators. In particular, those who buy tractors from private markets 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 off-peak seasons, sometimes selecting machinery types according to soil types. We conclude with a discussion of some policy implications.

New Publication: Private sector participation in agricultural extension for cocoa farming in Nigeria

2015 September 18
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to share the publication of Private sector participation in agricultural extension for cocoa farming in Nigeria by Kolawole Adebayo, Suresh Chandra Babu, Rahman Sanusi, Motunrayo Sofola, as a chapter in Knowledge driven development: Private extension and global lessons edited by Yuan Zhou and Suresh Chandra Babu, and recently published by the Academic Press.

About this book: 

Knowledge Driven Development: Private Extension and Global Lessons uses actual cases written specifically to study the role and capacity of private companies in knowledge sharing and intensification through agricultural extension. Descriptions of specific models and approaches are teased out of complex situations exhibiting a range of agricultural, regulatory, socio-economic variables. Illustrative cases focus on a particular agricultural value chain and elaborate the special feature of the associated private extension system.

Chapters presenting individual cases of private extension also highlight specific areas of variations and significant deviance. Each chapter begins with a section describing the background and agricultural context of the case, followed by a description of the specific crop value chain. Based on understanding of this context, extension models and methods by private companies receive deeper analysis and definition in the next section. This leads to a discussion of the private extension with respect to its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, equity, sustainability and impact. Following that, comparison with public extension, the uniqueness of the knowledge intensification model, and lessons for its replication and scaling up are elaborated. The final chapter summarizes the major results from the ten cases presented, looking at the trends, commonalities and differences of various extension approaches and the general lessons for success or failure. It concludes with a set of messages around value creation, integrated services, market links, inclusive innovation, and capacity development.

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New Journal Publication: Cassava intake and vitamin A status among women and preschool children in Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria

2015 September 15
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to share the publication of “Cassava intake and vitamin A status among women and preschool children in Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria” by Fabiana F. De Moura, Mourad Moursi, Abdelrahman Lubowa, Barbara Ha, Erick Boy, Babatunde Oguntona, Rasaki A. Sanusi, and Busie Maziya-Dixon, in the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE (Vol. 10 Issue 6) as part of IFPRI's HarvestPlus program.

Abstract:

Background

As part of the HarvestPlus provitamin A-biofortified cassava program in Nigeria we conducted a survey to determine the cassava intake and prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among children 6-59 months and women of childbearing age in the state of Akwa Ibom.

Methods

A cluster-randomized cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2011 in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. The usual food and nutrient intakes were estimated using a multi-pass 24-hour recall with repeated recall on a subsample. Blood samples of children and women were collected to analyze for serum retinol, serum ferritin, and acute phase proteins as indicators of infection. Vitamin A deficiency was defined as serum retinol <0.70 μmol/L adjusted for infection.

Results

A total of 587 households of a mother-child dyad participated in the dietary intake assessment. Cassava was very widely consumed in Akwa Ibom, mainly as gari or foofoo. Daily cassava consumption frequency was 92% and 95% among children and women, respectively. Mean (±SD) cassava intake (expressed as raw fresh weight) was 348 ± 317 grams/day among children and 940 ± 777 grams/day among women. Intakes of most micronutrients appeared to be adequate with the exception of calcium. Median vitamin A intake was very high both for children (1038 μg RAE/day) and women (2441 μg RAE/day). Red palm oil and dark green leafy vegetables were the main sources of vitamin A in the diet, with red palm oil alone contributing almost 60% of vitamin A intake in women and children. Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency ranged from moderate (16.9 %) among children to virtually non-existent (3.4 %) among women.

Conclusion

Consumption of cassava and vitamin A intake was high among women and children in Akwa Ibom with a prevalence of vitamin A deficiency ranging from moderate in children to non-existent among women. The provitamin A biofortified cassava and other vitamin A interventions should focus dissemination in states where red palm oil is not widely consumed.

New Publication in the NSSP Working Paper Series: “Optimal tariffs with smuggling: A spatial analysis of Nigerian rice policy options”

2015 September 3
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of the paper entitled "Optimal tariffs with smuggling: A spatial analysis of Nigerian rice policy options" by Dr. Michael E. Johnson and Dr. Paul A. Dorosh in the NSSP Working Paper Series (Working Paper No. 29).

Abstract: Utilizing a spatial multi-market model for rice in Nigeria that explicitly takes into account the potential for smuggling, in this paper we analyze the welfare implications of alternative rice tariff rates given the government’s goals of spurring domestic production and reducing imports. Because smuggling occurs through the diversion of imports from Lagos, the official port of entry in the south, to the north, our modeling framework also captures the spatial effects of higher tariffs on changes in rural and urban prices, production and consumption, the flow of trade in rice, and welfare across different parts of the country. Results show that tariff rates that exceed about 40 percent introduce some smuggling of rice through the north when smuggling becomes more profitable than importing through official channels in the south. It is also at this tipping point that government tariff revenues are maximized. At higher tariff rates with smuggling, the south experiences greater welfare losses, especially in urban areas.

New Journal Publication – Fertilizer subsidies, political influence and local food prices in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Nigeria

2015 August 7
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by imasias

1-s2.0-S0306919215X00042-cov150hThe Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of “Fertilizer subsidies, political influence and local food prices in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Nigeria” by Hiroyuki Takeshima (Research Fellow, IFPRI) and Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie (Assistant Professor, MSU), in Food Policy (Vol. 54). A version of this publication was previously published as a conference paper prepared for presentation at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s 2013 AAEA & CAES Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Abstract: The last decade has seen a resurgence in the use of fertilizer subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is limited empirical evidence on the effects of fertilizer subsidy programs on local food prices. Using an instrumental variables approach, we explore the effect of a fertilizer subsidy program on the seasonal growth rates of grain prices in Nigeria. Our results suggest that the fertilizer subsidy program had very small effects on the growth rates of grain prices between the post-planting and post-harvesting seasons. We also find that political influence played a role in the distribution of subsidized fertilizer. We discuss how the weak effects on the price growth rates may be caused by low market orientation, output market structures, greater focus on farmers’ incomes, low marginal productivity of fertilizer, and politically influenced targeting.

New Journal Publication – Productivity effects of sustainable intensification: The case of urea deep placement for rice production in Niger State, Nigeria

2015 August 3
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by imasias

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of “Productivity effects of sustainable intensification: The case of urea deep placement for rice production in Niger State, Nigeria” by Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie (Assistant Professor, MSU), Serge Adjognon (Graduate Research Assistant, MSU), and Oluyemisi Kuku-Shittu (Associate Research Fellow, IFPRI-NSSP) , in the African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (Vol. 10, No 1).

Abstract: This paper uses household data to explore the yield effects of an intensification practice called urea deep placement (UDP) in Nigeria. The propensity score matching and instrumental variables methods provide consistent evidence of a positive and significant effect of UDP on rice yields. The Rosenbaum sensitivity analysis reveals that these results are not likely driven by unobservable factors.

The paper also finds that farmers’ yields are further enhanced by adhering to several prescribed practices, confirming the potential for UDP to significantly improve rice yields.

Rice Paddy Fields in Niger State.

Rice Paddy Fields in Niger State. Source: Flickr (Jeremy Weate)

New Journal Publication: The Effect of Perception of Extension Service on Small Farm Holders Agricultural Production

2015 June 30
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by nellah

JESDThe Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of “The Effect of Perception of Extension Service on Small Farm Holders Agricultural Production” by NSSP Senior Research Assistant, Motunrayo Oyeyemi, in the Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, (Vol. 6, No 12).

Abstract

Empirical studies have suggested that agricultural extension can increase agricultural productivity. However, the increase in productivity relies largely on various auxiliary issues. Thus, this particular study was conducted among a subset group of southern-African farmers in order to examine the relationship between the provision of extension services and increased productivity in a regional context. An analysis of views in perception of these small scale farmers was used as a guide in estimating the efficacy of extension services. Perception as an indicator was then examined to access its extrapolative value in agricultural policies. The views of these farmers were analyzed using regression analysis to determine how extension services affected their performance. The findings revealed that positive perception extension services correlates to negative agricultural performance. While poor perceptions of extension services have tendencies of higher yield. Other factors of importance in the correlation identified were education, experience and exposure. These factors influenced perceptions and essentially agricultural yield.

New Publication in the NSSP Working Paper Series: “Commercial Banks’ Response to Government’s Financial Stimulus for Improved Agricultural Financing in Nigeria”

2015 May 18
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nsspwp28The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of the paper entitled “Commercial Banks’ Response to Government’s Financial Stimulus for Improved Agricultural Financing in Nigeria” by Prof. Aderibigbe S. Olomola and Maryam Yaro in the NSSP Working Paper Series (Working Paper No. 28).

Abstract: This study

  1. Examines the implementation of recent agricultural finance policies and incentives associated with the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the stimulus funds for boosting agricultural lending, the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS),
  2. Determines the impact of these financial capital interventions (stimulus to the banking sector) through the instrumentality of CACS on the flow of credit to the agricultural sector,
  3. Examines the factors militating against increased funding of agriculture by the banking sector, and
  4. Articulates policies and strategies for improved participation of the banking sector in agricultural financing in Nigeria. The study was executed using data obtained from all the commercial banks in the country in a survey conducted between March and September 2013 plus secondary data covering the period from 2006 to 2012.

New Publication in the NSSP Working Paper Series: “Understanding the Framework for Intergovernmental Interactions in the Implementation of Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda”

2015 May 7
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nsspwp27The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of the paper entitled "Understanding the Framework for Intergovernmental Interactions in the Implementation of Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda" by Prof. Aderibigbe S. Olomola in the NSSP Working Paper Series (Working Paper No. 27).

Abstract: This study focuses on intergovernmental interactions in Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). ATA may not be able to achieve its desired objectives unless the intergovernmental and inter-agency interactions are well understood, coordinated, and integrated into the design and implementation of the various ATA programs, especially those that are still being developed. Unfortunately, the interactions among the three tiers of government in Nigeria is still not recognized by policy makers as a major issue in refining the design of the transformation process and reinforcing it. No tier of government acting alone in making decisions that affect all three tiers of government can create an environment that will be sufficiently enabling to ensure that farmers and other beneficiaries of ATA initiatives receive the maximum benefits obtainable. If the buy-in of a particular level of government is not properly and meaningfully secured, implementation of programs can be fraught with delays and avoidable costs. These may jeopardize the sustainability of ATA. This study seeks to:

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New Journal Publication: Onset Risk and Draft Animal Investment in Nigeria

2015 April 15
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by imasias

JIATD

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Onset Risk and Draft Animal Investment in Nigeria by Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima (Research Fellow - IFPRI) in the Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development (Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2015).

Abstract: Onset risk, the uncertainty in the onset of rainy season, is an important element of weather risk for African farmers with little access to formal insurance who engage in traditional rainfed farming. A knowledge gap still exists empirically on how onset risk may affect the investment decisions of these farmers. In particular, farm productivity in Africa still depends on substantial labor inputs at the onset of the rainy season, sometimes involving seasonal migration to rural areas. With credit and insurance market failure, poor access to weather-related information, and high labor mobility costs, high and increasing onset risk may affect farmers’ demand for farm mechanization. We test this hypothesis by investigating the effect of onset risk on farmers’ investment in draft animals in northern and central Nigeria. We use the example of a public project providing farmers with financial support for the acquisition of productive assets. We calculate the onset of the rainy season using daily rainfall data in various locations across Nigeria and identify locations that have experienced increasing, decreasing, or constant onset risk in the past few decades. We then exploit the panel structure of our dataset and employ stratified propensity score matching to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated, differentiated by the onset risk and its change. The results support our hypothesis. Farmers in areas with higher, increasing, or constant onset risk were more likely to invest in draft animals, and such effects are clearer among larger-scale farmers. Linkages are also clearer with onset risk compared to annual rainfall risk.

A version of this paper was previously published as an IFPRI Discussion Paper (No. 1198).

New Journal Publication: Farmer Preferences on Seed Purchase Timing: Some Evidence from Nigeria

2015 April 10
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by imasias

JCI

The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of Farmer Preferences on Seed Purchase Timing: Some Evidence from Nigeria by Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima (Research Fellow - IFPRI) and Dr. Latha Nagarajan (Economist - IFDC) in the Journal of Crop Improvement (Vol. 29, Issue 1, 2015).

Abstract: Timely availability of seeds, typically immediately before the planting season, is considered one of the important factors for rapid adoption of quality seeds of improved varieties in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Empirical information on whether farmers are willing to pay (WTP) premium for obtaining seeds at their desired timing can help in assessing the feasibility of public sector support for timely delivery of quality seeds of improved varieties. This study estimates how farmers’ WTP for seed varies depending on the timing of the purchase using both revealed preference (RP) and stated preference (SP) models. The results indicate that WTP varies with the timing. Low-income farmers in Nigeria may prefer to pay premium price for cowpea seeds if those seeds can be made available closer to the planting season, while most high-income farmers may pay the same price regardless of the timing. Implications for future research needs are discussed.

NSSP-IFPRI participates in a Strategy and Planning Workshop for the Knowledge Management (KM) Framework and System for the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA)

2015 March 26
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by imasias

Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP Program Leader, participating in a panel discussion

Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP Program Leader, participating in the main panel discussion on Strategy and Planning of the Knowledge Management (KM) Framework for the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).

Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP-IFPRI Program Leader, was invited to participate in the main panel discussion for the Strategy and Planning of the Knowledge Management (KM) Framework for the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). The event, held on March 18, 2015 in Abuja, was jointly organized by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the World Bank. Mr. Francis Neuman, Knowledge Management Advisor, UNDP RSC-ESA, launched the four-day workshop by reiterating the value addition that KM brings to the ATA. Firstly, it serves to strengthen the ATA systematically through the KM System management and infrastructure components and secondly through its application - increasing access to information, impact on policy development, innovation and learning.

Dr. Mavrotas participated in a roundtable discussion with key stakeholder groups focusing on ways to create awareness to enable a clear direction on the importance and modalities for developing and implementing the KM Framework, System and Action plan. This is a key area of the ATA as it shapes a KM Framework that will clearly reflect stakeholder needs and accurately define the major principles and mechanisms by which ATA stakeholders will be guided while implementing the change process. The event was a follow up on the October 2014 conference, and in which Dr. Mavrotas presented on behalf of IFPRI-NSSP a white paper on the policy lessons emanating from other countries in this area, and on the identified capacity development needs in order to ensure that the goals of the ATA will be fully achieved.

The key stakeholder groups represented at the Panel Discussion were from the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. Emebinah Ebuka, Consultant, Phillips Consulting Limited), Farmers Organization (Mrs. Lizzy Igbine, Nigerian Women Agro-Allied Farmers), Research Organizations (Dr. George Mavrotas, NSSP-IFPRI), the Agribusiness Private Sector (Mr. Daniel Udo, Agribusiness and Investment) and the Development Partners (Ms. Alefia Merchant, USAID Agriculture Development Officer). The discussion was moderated by Mr. Steffen Janus (Senior Operations Officer, Knowledge Hubs, World Bank).  IFPRI expressed its commitment towards the direction of promoting data collaboration with competent access for sharing acquired data across the KM System. It was also stressed that the involvement of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) in the implementation of the KM Framework for ATA would be important as it can play a key role in strengthening the Nigerian agricultural research system.

New Publication: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria in Food Price Policy in an Era of Market Instability: A Political Economy Analysis

2015 March 25
Comments Off on New Publication: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria in Food Price Policy in an Era of Market Instability: A Political Economy Analysis
by imasias

Food Price Policy The Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) is pleased to announce the publication of The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria by NSSP Senior Economist/Consultant, Aderibigbe Olomola, as a chapter in Food Price in an Era of Market Instability: A Political Economy Analysis edited by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, and recently published by the Oxford University Press.

About this book: Food price volatility is one of the major challenges facing current and future global food systems. Since 2006, global food prices have fluctuated greatly around an increasing trend and price spikes were observed for key food commodities such as rice, wheat, and maize. The full or partial transmission of these global food price changes to individual developing countries, together with domestic food price changes, caused by domestic factors such as extreme weather events and market disruptions, caused governments to respond in a variety of ways. While there is ample description of the nature, content, and causes of food price fluctuations during the last 5 to 7 years, very little is known about the processes that led to policy responses or the relative power and behaviour of the participating stakeholder groups. Understanding how and why governments responded as they did is important to enhance the existing knowledge of the political economy of food price policy and to assist governments in their policy-making as they confront future food price fluctuations. This book presents results from political economy studies of food price policy in 14 developing countries as well as the United States and the European Union.