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Nigerian farmers, others to benefit from $7m US project



Farmers in six African countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania will benefit from the second phase of the Commercial Products (COMPRO-II) project, the Director for Natural Resource Management and Central Africa with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Bernard Van Lauwe, has said.

The COMPRO-II project is a United States (US) $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that aims to institutionalise quality assurance mechanisms and facilitate the rapid dissemination of top quality agricultural commercial products to increase yields and improve the food security of smallholder farmers in the region.

IITA will lead the project and will work with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – Soil Health Program (AGRA), Farm Input Promotions (FIPS), the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Research Area of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (TSBF-CIAT), the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI), universities, national research organisations, extension organisations, and quality control entities in the different targeted countries.

According to the Director-General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, “The plan is to raise awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2016, through public-private partnership.

“Of these households, 420,000 will have tested at least one effective commercial product and at least 50 per cent of these will have adopted the technology and achieve a 15-30 per cent yield increase with substantial impacts on food security and income.”

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