APRA Nigeria advisory board created

APRA Nigeria has received a boost following the creation of a new advisory board, at Rockview Hotel, Abuja on September 27, 2019.

APRA Nigeria Workstream 1 Research Team (WS1) aims to study the potential opportunities and challenges associated with medium-scale (investor) farms as a pathway into agricultural commercialisation. The research is being conducted in conjunction with Michigan State University (MSU), who are leading policy studies on Agricultural Commercialisation Synergies and Trade-offs between Small-scale and Medium-scale farms in Nigeria. The purpose of the advisory board is for APRA Nigeria research output to be converted into policies, which advocate for effective implementation towards improving household livelihoods in the APRA research study states of Ogun and Kaduna.

The advisory body was inaugurated by APRA Chair, Prof. Titus Awokuse, MSU, who will work closely with the APRA-MSU research team in order for them to  influence agricultural and food policies to enhance agricultural commercialisation and smallholders transformation through the growth of medium/large scale farms.

“We are using Ogun and Kaduna states as study sites to understand the typology of commercialisation, including opportunities and constraint,’’ said Prof. Soji Adelaja, MSU, and WS1 researcher. He also stated that the APRA Nigeria WS1 research aims to generate an inclusive set of information from stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, in addition to how land acquisition, agricultural produce-processing and marketing can be translated to wealth creation.

Prof. Aromolaran addresses the group

WS1 Country Coordinator, Prof. Adebayo Aromolaran, emphasised that in order to promote the growth of medium-scale farms in Nigeria, policy needed to effectively address the issue of low land tenure security, low access to land markets by prospective investors, and low youth engagement in farming.  He added that advisory board members were in a position to influence the distribution of government and private sector resources to effectively implement policies arising from APRA research output.

Prof. Thom Jayne, MSU, and lead Principal Investigator of the APRA-MSU research team, informed the board that APRA is conducting similar research in Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, and stated that he hoped that improved commercialisation policy could enable better wealth and job creation for small and medium-scale farmers.

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Photo credit: Thom Jayne, Adebayo Aromolaran