Nigeria Vegetable Shortfall Crisis A 13 Million Ton Challenge

Nigeria Vegetable Shortfall Crisis A 13 Million Ton Challenge

Nigeria Faces Enormous 13 Million Metric Ton Vegetable Shortage

Nigeria is confronting a staggering 13 million metric ton deficit in its vegetable industry, according to Horti Nigeria’s Programme Director, Mohammed Idris. In response, Horti Nigeria has joined forces with EnGRAIS to bolster vegetable production and close this substantial supply gap.

A recent two-day workshop in Lagos, organized by these two entities, was dedicated to advancing vegetable cultivation and developing Agricultural Input Packages aimed at fostering sustainable and inclusive agriculture within the vegetable sector.

Horti Nigeria, a Dutch-funded program supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria, is on a mission to strengthen and cultivate a thriving vegetable sector in Nigeria over a four-year period, spanning from 2021 to 2025. The project focuses on empowering smallholder farmers by enhancing their production and productivity through eco-friendly agricultural technologies. It also aims to introduce innovative solutions to key states like Oyo and Ogun, with a primary target market in Lagos.

A crucial aspect of this initiative is to facilitate greater access to financing, recognizing that the introduction of advanced agricultural technology may require financial support for both small and medium enterprises and individual smallholder farmers.

This collaboration between Horti Nigeria and EnGRAIS underscores the commitment of the Dutch and Nigerian governments to fortify Nigeria’s vegetable sector. The country annually faces a massive deficit of 13 million metric tonnes of vegetables, leading to substantial foreign exchange expenditures, particularly on tomato paste imports.

Professor Christogonus Dawodu of the National Agriculture Extension and Research Liaison Services at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, highlighted the formidable challenges confronting the agricultural sector. These challenges include limited access to quality seeds and fertilizers, emphasizing the urgent need for improved agricultural practices nationwide.

Professor Dawodu stressed that addressing these challenges is paramount to ensure the nation’s productivity, food security, and overall economic development. He commended the initiatives by IFDC through the EnGRAIS project and Horti Nigeria, citing their potential to transform the lives of farmers.

The collaboration between EnGRAIS and Horti Nigeria, he asserted, demonstrates a visionary approach to expanding the reach and impact of agricultural interventions. By tailoring Agricultural Input Packages for vegetable crops and disseminating them through platforms like FeseRWAM, these organizations aim to equip farmers with knowledge and resources that can significantly enhance their agricultural practices and crop yields.

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