More than 500,000 Farmers to Benefit from Partnership to Improve Crop Yields (August 26, 2014)

Abuja, Nigeria — Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Syngenta Nigeria signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) to train more than 500,000 farmers and agro-dealers across multiple states and crops.  This MOU builds on a global MOU between USAID and Syngenta and will ensure that Nigerian farmers have access to the best agricultural technologies to boost their productivity—directly contributing to the government of Nigeria’s “Agriculture Transformation Agenda.”

Speaking after signing the MOU, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Brewer, said that “the U.S. government is not only committed to teaching farmers how to plant, but also helping them learn how to run successful businesses.”

Syngenta and USAID will also cooperate on identifying employment opportunities in the agricultural sector for participants of President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, formerly known as the Young African Leaders Initiative.  These actions and partnerships will increase the quantity and quality of agricultural inputs available to smallholders, with agro-dealers playing an important role in providing both quality products and services to their customers.

Dr. Shachi Sharma, Syngenta’s country director said, “We are delighted about the signing of this MOU and believe our collaboration will be a catalyst for transforming agriculture in Nigeria.  We are looking forward to working with USAID to bring together smallholder farmers and accelerate the development of a retail network as well as lay the foundations for providing advanced agricultural training to hundreds of thousands of farmers across Nigeria.”

Currently, many agricultural inputs in Nigeria are of sub-standard quality, distributed through inadequate and inefficient channels. The government of Nigeria, development partners, and the private sector all agree that modern agricultural practices that will improve the quality of agricultural inputs, targeted at smallholder farmers, will play a transformative role in reestablishing Nigeria’s position as the breadbasket of Africa. Through the establishment of the “Growth Enhancement Support (GES)” program, the government of Nigeria is supporting the transitioning of input supply from the public sector to the private sector.