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Towards poverty reduction, there is a need to generate agricultural technologies in order to increase agricultural productivity and reduce poverty and hunger among smallholders. But to develop agriculture, efforts must be made to embrace both generation of innovations and taking the innovations to scale. Scaling up of agricultural innovations has adopted different methods; scaling up requires a multi-stakeholder approach among national governments, donor agencies, NGOs, the private sector, research institutions, and extension workers among others.

Horizontal, vertical, and functional approaches are commonly listed for scaling up agricultural innovations; practices on the ground appear however to embrace combinations of the approaches. Technology generation through years of agricultural research in the various NARIs in Nigeria is believed to be way ahead of the rate of use of the various research outputs. If properly packaged, it will help potential beneficiaries of the wide array of the agricultural research outputs from the NARIs who includes processors, farmers, marketers, and allied agro-based businesses.

Cassava is a dual utility commodity in Nigeria; it is used for food and as an industrial raw material. Challenges to cassava development in Nigeria relate to production and post-harvest processing. Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) has led to yield losses and is a threat to the livelihood of cassava-growing families. CMD-resistant cassava varieties include NR8082, NR8083, TME 419, TME 98/0505, and TMS 30572. These varieties mature early, give high yields, and peel easily. Scaling up of agricultural innovation using an IP requires that the relevant stakeholders be linked and organised. Under the auspices of the Research into Use (RIU) Program in Nigeria, CMD-resistant varieties were introduced in Abia State through the joint effort of IITA, NRCRI, ARCN, and ADPs. The outcomes of the cassava IP to the farmers include larger farm sizes, access to improved varieties resistant to CMD, and higher productivity. Access to CMD-resistant varieties was generally easier within the IP. The access increased from fewer than 100 farmers in 2009 to over 450,000 farmers by 2010 in Abia State.

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has taken several steps over the years to use agriculture to alleviate poverty and attain food security. But the efforts faced significant constraints. Agricultural lands have been largely degraded in quality due to expansion of production by expanding cultivated area at the expense of intensive farming. Other factors in the low and declining productivity of the Nigerian agricultural sector include poorly developed irrigation potential, inadequate and poorly funded and maintained production and marketing infrastructure, poorly funded agricultural research and extension systems, inadequate availability and distribution of key inputs (fertilisers, chemicals, machinery, and improved seed), poor or lack of access to financial services for the procurement of needed inputs and services such as processing, storage, and transportation (World Bank, 2013).

The Federal Government of Nigeria, under multi-lateral financial assistance (from mainly World Bank and AfDB) implemented the National Fadama Development Project in three phases between 1992 and 2015, as Fadama I, Fadama II and Fadama III, Fadama III AF, in that order. The Project Appraisal Document (PAD) for Fadama III intended to support the financing and implementation of five main components designed to transfer financial and technical resources to the beneficiary groups in: (i) institutional and social development; (ii) physical infrastructure for productive use; (iii) transfer and adoption of technology to expand productivity, improve value-added, and conserve land quality; (iv) support extension and applied research; and (v) provide matching grants to access assets for income generation and livelihood improvements.

Prior to the Fadama project, the target beneficiaries were disorganised and operated as individuals, widely dispersed across rural space. They lived in communities that are beyond the reach of financial institutions that may be willing and able to extend services to the poor. This facility, i.e., financial support for acquisition of group assets, thus serve as a mechanism to mobilise the formation of community groups, to give FCA members practical financial experience as well as revenue from small income-generating activities. Also, the arrangement made the beneficiaries more attractive to be financed as a group by mainstream financial institutions. This was the innovation or intervention. Fadama II project in 18 states was expanded to cover all the 36 states and the FCT as Fadama III project. The learning and lessons of the CDD were used to scale up the acquisition, ownership and maintenance of productive assets using the group approach.

A total of 64,347 FUGs were registered nationally, of which 48.6 percent owned the listed categories of assets. The productive assets for which at least 1 percent of all nationally registered FUGs acquired included Animal Traction Unit, ATU (3867), tubewell (4409), sprayers (5569), fatten cattle (1220), cassava processing machine (1340), goatry (1076), rice processing machine (1282), tomato/pepper processing machine (1180), fish pond (2423), and poultry production units (2401). In line with the GIC commodity emphasis, our interest here is mainly a cassava processing machine and a rice processing machine.

The state-wise FUEF savings rates analysis shows that only 9 states out of 36 and FCT in the Fadama III project met the requirement of saving 10 percent or more of the replacement value of the assets in the group’s possession. These states are: Adamawa (17.4 percent), Bauchi (13.6 percent), Gombe (13.9 percent), Kogi (10.3 percent), Nasarawa (21.2 percent), Niger (14.2 percent), Lagos (10.2 percent), Ogun (21.9 percent), and Plateau (16.6 percent). The national average savings by the group was 4.3 percent.

Fadama III AF was conceived for scaling up impacts on the ground and strengthening the development effectiveness of the well-performing Third National Fadama Development Project (Fadama III). FIII AF was designed to support clusters of farmers in selected states with comparative advantage and high potential to increase production and productivity of cassava, rice, sorghum, and horticulture value chains and link them to better-organised markets, ncluding Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) once established. FIII AF was to facilitate linkages between the federation of producers and existing processors. FIII AF retained the development objective of the Fadama III Project.
As a departure from past government interventions, the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) adopted in 2011 was focused on making improvements along the value chains of a number of prioritised agricultural commodities and working with the private sector. The ATA also differs from past efforts in that it pushes for badly needed policy reforms such as the fertiliser subsidy programme. FIII AF financed the procurement of advisory services to transfer know-how on proper utilisation of factors of production (fertilisers, improved seeds, and agricultural machinery), including advice on the associated downstream activities. The advisory services component comprises two subcomponents, advisory services and input supply. FIII AF used the same approach and strategy of Community Driven Development (CDD). The FIII AF supported critical production activities and organisation of farmers into clusters or out-grower groups in selected states with high potential. The priority value chains supported were rice, cassava, sorghum, and horticultural crops.

The outcomes of innovation scaling up include State-wide access to high-yielding and early-maturing varieties of cassava, namely, TME 419, TMX 30572, TMX 30555; State-wide access to high-yielding and early-maturing varieties of rice, namely FARO 44, FARO 52, FARO 54, FARO 62, FARO 60, FARO 61, FARO 57, with FARO 44 and FARO 52 most preferred/distributed across target states; Productive assets acquired for cassava production by the production groups include a sprayer, a wheelbarrow, a cassava lifter, and a First Aid box; Productive assets acquired for rice production and post-harvest value addition by the relevant groups include a sprayer, a water pump, a generator (for water pump), a milling machine, a de-stoner, and a thresher; and Fertilisers, seeds, and pesticides were accessed using the e-wallet approach proposed under the ATA.

Published as FARA Research Results Vol 2(1).