The five-year MARKETS project (2005-2010) sought to transform Nigerian agriculture in selected areas from low input/low output, subsistence farming to commercially competitive agriculture by targeting consumer demand for locally produced food commodities and by creating specific, defined markets.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the project focused on expanding economic opportunities by increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing value-added processing and increasing commercialization through private sector-led and market-driven growth and development.
IFDC’s role was to help improve the agro-input supply system and increase the sale of improved seeds, fertilizers and crop protection products. Because the private sector is crucial to agricultural growth, IFDC identified and networked with trained agro-dealers while developing input markets for targeted value chains.
In 2009, IFDC increased access to fertilizer for nearly 200,000 farmers in Kano and Taraba states through a fertilizer voucher program. Vouchers help smallholder farmers obtain inputs while simultaneously building business for rural agro-dealers. The program expanded in 2010 to four states – adding Bauchi and Kwara states to Kano and Taraba states.