The impact of good agronomic best practices trainings and improved seedlings as an effective strategy in boosting smallholder’s farmers yield in North West Nigeria

By Emmanuel Terhemba Amile

Director: Planning, Research and Evaluation

E- Tag Expert Resources Ltd

Background

The invasion of communities in the North Eastern Nigeria by insurgent group known as Boko Haram has in the last one decade displaced community members who are predominantly farmers of their re-occupation and a means of livelihood. This has led to food crisis in the region as HH who have returned to their community after the crisis do not have any means of survival because of inability to access their farms and all they hard in their stock were looted or destroyed by members of the sect. in view of all the above, majority of farmers has to start all over by sourcing of new crops which are most time not available and the only once they have sometimes could not produce their desired yield despite the large portions of land their cultivated on.

Consequently, international agencies and other humanitarian actors in last five years have invested heavily in resilience building of the IDP most especially in the field of agriculture through intensive capacity building on Good Agricultural Best Practices, provision of improved seedling, fertilizers distribution and adoption of its alternatives such as organic manure with the aim of boasting yield per hectare and as well providing a sustainable means of livelihood for the beneficiaries.

Methodology

The final evaluation of the food security and Livelihood interventions in the NE, were carried using a mixed method evaluation (Quantitative and Qualitative) in Adamawa and Borno State in North East Nigeria with a sample size of 100.  Semi structured questionnaire were administered to beneficiaries using simple random sampling in the distribution of the sample size across states.  Meanwhile, convenience sampling was used for the selection of participants for the focused group discussion and the key informant interview.

Key findings

The evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of voucher system as a means of distribution in humanitarian assistance in North East Nigeria done using the OECD – DAC criteria reveals that 54% of IDPs own the land they us in cultivation of their agricultural product in the NE, the predominant crops cultivated includes Sorghum, Soybean, Rice, Maize, Millet and Ground Nuts.

Consequently, the qualitative data reveals that application of best practices such as crop spacing, crop rotation, use of improved varieties of seedling, use of fertilizers and organic manure has effectively improved smallholder farmers yield per hectare and as well boost the economy of their local market. Additionally, farmers have over the years understand the role of the extension workers in enhancing their knowledge on the prevail trends.

Conclusions

In view of all the above the application of good agricultural best practices with the use of improved seedlings contributes greats to the increase in yield per hectare for smallholder farmers.

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