The Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE II) programme funded by UK aid has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Novus Agro, Nigeria.
MADE II and NOVUS have agreed to develop a partnership to improve smallholder farmers access to finance, inputs, knowledge and market linkages, targeting cassava, oil palm, maize, pineapple, plantain, vegetables and other value chains where Edo and Northern Delta State have comparative advantage to produce.
Agribusiness is a critical sector, employing approximately 52% of the Niger Delta’s total labour force and providing a livelihood for about 90% of the rural population. According to the CEO of Novus Agro, Nwagwu Chike, “smallholder farmers in Edo and Northern Delta state suffers poor access to formal and sustainable markets for their produce, resulting to post-harvest losses”. Under this partnership, Novus Agro will map, register, verify and link 10,000 smallholder farmers to finance, inputs, knowledge and new markets. Additional 400 youths and women will also be trained as field facilitators providing input and output aggregation and extension services to producers and off-takers. Novus will also provide market linkage services to other farmer groups with produce in other value chains in which Edo and Delta States have comparative advantage.
MADE II is supporting mapping and baseline assessment of smallholder farmer clusters, community sensitization, field facilitators orientation & onboarding/technology; smallholder farmers registration, verification and account opening. MADE II will also support a holistic produce from Edo campaign. According to the Team Leader of MADE II, Mr. Olatunde Oderinde, “stimulating economic opportunities for rural producers is part of MADE’s strategy to stem human trafficking and irregular migration in high endemic communities, as agribusiness is a sector which is attractive and viewed as aspirational by returnees, potential victims of human trafficking, and vulnerable households in Edo and Delta States”.
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