Solidaridad West Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to develop the oil palm value chain.
With this, the two parties will collaborate based on mutual goals, interests, competency, expertise, and resources in the agricultural sector.
The collaboration aims to improve the productivity of the agricultural sector especially oil palm production and ensure that it contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Solidaridad has expertise in agriculture, guided by over 50 years of experience working across various supply chains. Nigeria is expected to benefit from Solidaridad’s expertise in her effort to transform the agricultural sector under the MoU.
The organization’s footprints in Nigeria spans more than a decade and have largely been on improving oil palm, cocoa, horticulture.
Presently, Solidaridad is implementing the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, and Kogi states, while IDH, its partner, is implementing NISCOPS in Edo and Ondo state.
Additionally, Solidaridad implements the horticultural programme – the Sustainable Development Goal Project 1 (SDGP1), dubbed “Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets.”
This programme is being implemented in the Kano and Kaduna states. The two programmes are funded by the Netherlands government.
Under the MoU, Solidaridad will provide technical support to FMARD in the development of the oil palm sector.
This will align with Solidaridad’s aim to support Nigeria’s capacity-building efforts to regain her leading role in the global production of the commodity.
As a data-driven organization, Solidaridad has successfully built a rich database of farmers across the country, which will be of help to FMARD in executing its policies in the development of agriculture, among others.
Signing the MoU on behalf of Solidaridad West Africa, Dr Samuel Ogallah, Solidaridad Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and Country Technical Lead in Nigeria expressed optimism that the collaboration between the two parties will contribute significantly to the agricultural development of Nigeria.
“The MoU is a welcome development as it will propel the efforts of Solidaridad West Africa and FMARD towards the achievement of food sufficiency and exports for the country,” he said.
Solidaridad’s projects in Nigeria
NISCOPS is improving the production of oil palm through best management and sustainable land-use practices and climate-smart agriculture.
The programme is aimed at improving the income and livelihoods of smallholder oil palm farmers in the project implementing states and the national food security at large.
The SDGP1, on the other hand, is aimed at transforming the Nigeria vegetable markets with improved nutrition and livelihood of farmers in Nigeria.