Following an initiative by USAID/Nigeria for the Feed the Future Implementing Partners (FtF IPs) to closely collaborate on program activities in Nigeria so as to enhance policy impact, the FtF IPs decided to launch the Feed the Future Policy Dialogue series of which the first was delivered on 6 April, 2017 in Abuja. Jointly organized by the Agro Inputs Project and the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, the first policy dialogue was titled “Bringing balanced fertilizers to the Nigerian market: Policy and investment implications of soil and crop-specific fertilizer blend-based technologies”. Opening remarks were delivered by Dr. George Mavrotas (Chief of Party for the FtF Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project and Head of IFPRI Abuja Office) and Ms. Roseann Casey (Director, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID/Nigeria). The first edition of the Policy Dialogue Series was declared open following a keynote speech read by Professor Victor Chude on behalf of the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who could not attend due to other prior commitments.
Two key presentations were delivered during the Policy Dialogue. The first presentation titled “Bringing balanced fertilizers to the Nigerian market: Policy and investment implications of soil and crop-specific fertilizer blend-based technologies” was given by Dr. Kofi Debrah (Chief of Party, Agro Inputs Project). The second presentation titled “Varietal development and the effectiveness of seed sector policies: The case of rice in Nigeria” was delivered by Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima (IFPRI Research Fellow and team lead of the FtF Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project study on seed varieties), based on the key findings and policy recommendations emanating from his research on the seed varieties research topic for the Agricultural Policy Project. The two presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion. The policy dialogue was well received and attended by more than 80 participants including representatives from USAID, FMARD, NGO’s, private sector, developments partners, research and academia. The event also attracted media’s attention. Participants got a better understanding of the policy and investment implications as well as policy recommendations relating to seed varieties, fertilizers, and integrated soil fertility management so as to enhance adoption of improved technologies by farmers.
This policy dialogue contributes to activities to strengthen evidence based policy process and promoting impact under the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, a joint effort between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) and Michigan State University funded by USAID/Nigeria.