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.
The first day of the workshop (attended by senior officials from the Ministry, development partners, representatives from the research community, international organizations, and other stakeholders) was dedicated to create a common understanding among the various stakeholders on the needs and activities required to build FMARD's capacity to deliver products and services. The IFPRI/Africa Lead report entitled, "Assessment of Nigeria Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) and Capacity Building Needs," was presented by Dr. Femi Nzegwu of Africa Lead, along with reports from organizations such as Monitor Deloitte, SATA, and ActionAid. In addition, Dr. George Mavrotas, Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy and Governance Division/NSSP Program Leader, presented a white paper co-authored with Dr. Suresh Babu, Senior Research Fellow (IFPRI), on examples and experiences in selected countries with successful agricultural systems. The second part of the first day was dedicated to identify the obstacles preventing key stakeholders from implementing the ATA and suggesting possible solutions to overcome those obstacles. The NSSP team participated in these breakout sessions as part of the research institutions stakeholder group and contributed to the deliberations of the workshop.