The Feed the Future Nigeria Agro-Inputs Project awarded 36 agro-input dealers with Certificates of Participation on April 21, 2016, in the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria. The ceremony was held in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Agro-Input Dealers’ Association. The awards were presented in recognition of the agro-dealers’ commercial success and as a celebratory gesture to promote the efforts of the Feed the Future project in building a robust agro-input dealer network capable of supplying high-quality and affordable inputs to farmers around the country. Of the 36 dealers who were given awards, there were 24 men and 12 women, a result of the project’s emphasis on gender inclusivity in training capable agro-dealers.
Represented at the ceremony were officials from the Nigerian government and the United States Agency for International Development, along with actors from the private fertilizer and financial sectors, national farmers’ associations, and Feed the Future project partners. Two awardees gave testimonies on the positive impacts the training had on their businesses, and partners were allowed to display their products for exhibition and sales. Cybernetics, a private fertilizer company attending the event, offered a 1-kilogram sample of their new micronutrient fertilizer product as a gift to each awardee.
In his opening remarks, the Director of Farm Inputs Support Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, O.B. Jatto, commended the project’s efforts in building a network of agro-dealers and expressed his will to support the project with the necessary public policy.
The participants received training to broaden their technical and entrepreneurial capabilities to provide advisory services for farmers in order to create a better business environment for Nigeria’s agriculture sector. To date, the project has trained over 300 agro-dealers.