UK’s Propcom+ project targets Nigerian farmers with climate-smart solutions

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Propcom+, a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded climate and agriculture programme in Nigeria, says it will support four million smallholder farmers with climate smart solutions.

Propcom+ seeks to promote sustainable economic growth, improve climate resilience and incomes of smallholder farmers by addressing challenges in Nigeria’s food and land use systems.

It also aimed at supporting 50 per cent of women under the four million target to adapt and scale up sustainable agricultural practices to increase productivity, income generation, and climate resilience towards reducing emissions and protecting the ecosystems.

The Propcom+ Country Representative, Dr Adiya Ode, stated this at a meeting with media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in Dutse, Jigawa state.

According to Ode, the programme reinforces the UK Government’s commitment to work with the Government of Nigeria, towards increase investment in agriculture and help vulnerable to build resilience and adapt to the effects of climate change.

“It will do this by working through strategic market actors to increase productivity of smallholder farmers, improve nutrition and food security, enhance climate resilience, pursue lower emissions, protect and restore nature, while also tackling some of Nigeria’s underlying drivers of conflict and insecurity,” Ode said.

She said the programme focused at addressing critical issues around animal health vaccination, bio-fortified and climate smart crop variety, innovative and digital financial services, ICT-based tools for extension and climate-smart agricultural technologies and innovations at initial focal states in the North-West and North-East regions.

Ode listed some of the focal states to include Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna, adding that the programme would also work in states in southern part of the country to address deforestation, foster sustainable land-use management through landscape-level interventions while supporting communities to manage forest reserves and strengthen landscape governance.

According to her, the programme is looking towards supporting smallholders farmers to access innovations and technology such as labour-saving devices to reduce drudgery in crop production, among others.

“The programme also seeks to support scale up and investment in last mile delivery of animal health vaccines, support the commercialisation of bio-fortified crops to improve nutrition and increase access to climate-smart crop varieties that will help farmers build resilience to climate change and improve their productivity,” she stated.

“Propcom+ builds on the UK Government’s investment in agriculture through the Propcom Mai-karfi programme which ended in March 2022, after supporting over 1.25 million persons with improved incomes through key market reforms and policies that benefitted poor women and men in Northern Nigeria,” Ode said.

She added that Propcom+ programme introduced in August 2023, as part of the UK International Climate Finance programme to support climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture and forestry that benefits people, climate, and nature.

“The eight-year programme, which kicked off in May 2023 is being implemented by the Palladium Group and is currently in its inception phase till January 2024,” she said.

NAN / Foluke Ibitomi