Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with abundant arable land. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the country’s workforce, and over 80 percent of farmers are smallholder producers, which include farmers, fishers, foresters, and herders. Despite being key food producers, smallholder farmers are increasingly facing barriers to profitability and experiencing socio-economic challenges themselves. Some of these barriers include: lack of access to productive inputs and credit, poor awareness of agricultural best practice such as post-harvest management, and lack of market access. These challenges limit smallholder livelihoods and paradoxically place them among the most vulnerable to food insecurity.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) supports smallholder farmers in overcoming systemic challenges and becoming competitive actors in global food systems. As part of these efforts, the WFP Innovation Accelerator, WFP’s Country Office in Nigeria and Thrive Agric, an agricultural company based in Nigeria, joined forces to help solve major problems facing smallholder farmers and broaden their business prospects.
The project’s participation in the Accelerator’s Sprint Programme uncovered key achievements and learnings from the pilot in Nigeria.