Between 21- 24 January 2019, Dr Hiroyuki Takeshima, Senior Research Fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) delivered three research seminars titled “Recent research findings on seed varieties, irrigation, and agricultural mechanization in Nigeria” in the states of Niger (21 January), Benue (22 January) and Kaduna (24 January) to 230 people. The audience represents a mixture of academics, researchers and policy analysts in each of the states.
The seminar presented the findings of three studies carried out between 2016 and 2018 in Nigeria within the framework of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project.
Specifically, the research findings highlighted the following messages:
(1) Increasing plant-breeding locations can raise overall agricultural productivity cost-effectively, and is a good way to increase support for agricultural R&D in Nigeria;
(2) Large irrigation dams have spillover effects which extending beyond command areas and across hydrological basins, especially benefiting down-stream basins by shielding farmers from the effects of droughts;
(3) Tractor-owners in the informal sector exhibit significant efficiency and skills in tractor use, which should be studied and transferred to tractor owners in the formal sector (those receiving government tractors);
(4) Used-tractor sellers, again in the informal sector, complement new-tractor sellers in the formal sector by matching geographically scattered supply and demand for tractors.
Dr Takeshima recommended that “For (3) and (4), providing information of typical business characteristics in tractor markets can reduce learning costs for new-business entrants and facilitate the private-sector growth in tractor markets.”