In an article published today in Nigeria’s The Nation newspaper, author Daniel Essiet profiled SRI and the related System of Crop Intensification (SCI) as leading examples of agroecological production methods that can help Nigeria achieve greater food security. The article focuses on how agroecological farming methodologies have the power to increase production without many of the negative effects witnessed by adoption of conventional/industrial agricultural practices, drawing links between human livelihoods, food security, ecological health, biodiversity, and sociocultural preservation.
The article points to SRI and SCI as key examples of agroecological production methods, and ones that are currently working on the ground in Nigeria to improve rural livelihoods, environmental protection, and food security. The National Crop Research Institute (NCRI) is also profiled for its work in implementing these two strategies, with quotes from Dr. Emmanuel Abo, the director of NCRI’s Research Operations Department, saying that while SRI and SCI use has not yet been scaled-up across the country, several seasons of initial trials have shown great results.
Dr. Abo is also now acting as the SRI Focal Point for Nigeria for the SRI West Africa project, where his role is to coordinate all project activities in the country, and monitor all non-project SRI activities as well.
In addition to NCRI, the article spoke as well about the involvement of the Green Sahel Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (GSARDI), which after receiving training in SRI in Mali in 2010 from USAID’s Expanded-Agribusiness and Trade Promotion program (E-ATP), became a pioneer in introducing SRI to Nigeria. With further support from E-ATP, GSARDI held Nigeria’s first large SRI training in Jigawa State in July 2011. Muhammad Ahmed Adamu, the Executive Director of GSARDI, has been instrumental in advancing the promotion and adaptation of SRI in northern Nigeria, and is an official SRI Champion for the SRI West Africa project.
Another mention in the article was the World Bank’s CADP project, active in five states across the country, which has been promoting SRI in Kano as part of a broader value chain and infrastructure approach. According to the project’s Team Leader, Dr. Lucas Akapa, SRI has been responsible for raising average farmer yields from 2.7 to 3.6 t/ha.
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