The European Union, EU, Delegation to Nigeria, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and the Federal Government, via the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced on Friday that a report on the maize value chain will galvanize production, processing, and risk reduction for farmers.
This was revealed at a stakeholders’ workshop, where the report of a value chain analysis on maize in Nigeria was presented, as part of the EU-funded ‘Value chain analysis for development’ (VCA4D) project organized by the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, as well as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The workshop was held in Kano and Abuja on 12th and 14th July 2022 respectively, following the completion of the study.
It will be recalled that between January 2020 and October 2021, the EU mandated Agrinatura to undertake a detailed overview of the maize value chain from the economic, social and environmental point of view.
The study was conducted by a team of national and international experts from Agrinatura – the Alliance of European Universities and Research Centres specialising in agricultural research for development.
The report acknowledged that Nigeria remains one of the world’s leading maize producers, especially of non-genetically modified white maize.
However, with demand on the rise both as food as from the processing industry, the country is nonetheless still exposed to risks of supply shortfall.
According to Agrinatura, the study generated evidence-based knowledge, largely quantitative, to help policy makers underpin and fine-tune policy actions and interventions in the value chain, in order to enhance its sustainable and inclusive development.
“The VCA4D analysis provides a baseline, useful to appreciate the evolution of the sector over time, also in contexts of investment (like the one promoted by EDFI AgriFi).
“The two workshops publicized the findings and recommendations of the VCA4D study to promote their use in relevant policy discussions and investment decisions; and contributed to build a platform for continued networking and advocacy on actions to strengthen the maize value chain”, Agrinatura pointed.
The maize value chain plays a vital role in the local cereal market, in terms of food supply for the population, livelihoods for the rural population, food security of the country, and regular source of additional income to subsistence farmers.
It is also important as main raw materials for large numbers of small-scale processors across the country while providing inputs to different other industrial sub sectors such as animal feed production, beverages and confectionary industries.
There are several investments and supporting initiatives to promote the maize value chain in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the report indicated that the EU, in the framework of the EDFI Agri-fi project, has invested €5 million in a small Nigerian company that developed an innovative large-scale agricultural franchise model through which it provides a wide range of tailored end-to-end services to its network of smallholder members.
AgriFI is keen to support this project promoting sustainable smallholder farming and helping farmers to increase their productivity and profitability, whilst also pushing them to be more entrepreneurial.