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Nigerian Rice Farmers on the “Frontiers in Development”

In a presentation before the USAID Frontiers in Development audience, Nigeria MARKETS Chief of Party Tim Prewitt demonstrated the tangible benefits of market-led development in the country’s rice sector.

The USAID Frontiers in Development conference brought together a diverse mix of development professionals with one shared goal in mind: stronger and more effective development. As part of the conference, thought leaders from around the industry shared innovative solutions through “DevTalks,” short presentations modeled after TEDTalks.

Tim Prewitt—who leads the USAID Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites Project, known as MARKETS—delivered a DevTalk as part of the conference’s second afternoon session, which focused on climate change, food security, and population.

His presentation, “Two Rice Farms,” introduced the audience to two rice farmers: one an American and the other a Nigerian, initially a dramatic contrast, with the American farmer able to feed 32 people per hectare per year from his farm and the Nigerian only able to feed five. See Tim’s presentation below, which details how USAID and the MARKETS project are improving the Nigerian rice industry and increasing yields and incomes for Nigerian farmers.

 

The MARKETS project has improved value chains in rice, sorghum, fish, and others, but the real impact has been for farmers like Goodness Onuh, who has increased her yield by 5.3 metric tons per hectare in just two years.

“I thank MARKETS for assisting me to become a good rice farmer. I am encouraging other women in my village to embrace the MARKETS approach,” she says. Overall, the program has helped farmers increase productivity by 285 percent in the rice sector.

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