The 9th Joint Federal Government of Nigeria/World Bank Implementation Support Mission of the Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) was conducted from November 14 – 29, 2022. The mission was led by World Bank Senior Agriculture Economist and Task Team Leader, APPEALS, Dr. Manievel E. Sene, supported by other members of the World Bank Task Team.  The APPEALS National Coordination Office and all State Coordination Offices of the six participating states of APPEALS were led and coordinated by National Project Coordinator, All. Mohammed Sani Jobdi at the mission. Other participants include representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning; FMARD Projects Coordinating Unit, PCU; State Steering/Technical Committees and other stakeholders. 

Objective of the Mission: 

The main objective of the mission was to assess the project overall implementation status towards the project closing date of September 30, 2023. 

Summary of Implementation Progress:

The participating States have continued to make progress in the implementation of activities under the various components of the project. The total number of VCIPs being implemented across the States stood at 2,892 which is made up of production VCIPs (75.3%), processing VCIPs (13.6%) and marketing VCIPs (11.1%). 

To significantly reduce the yield gap between farm trials and average national yields, an additional 20 new technologies were demonstrated since the 8th mission to make up the current value of 228 technologies that have so far been demonstrated to 84,736 farmers across the participating states, thus exceeding the endline target of 100 technologies. 

Furthermore, the number of farmers adopting improved technologies stood at 33,857 with females constituting about 36.0%. In addition, the project is linking farmers to markets through the facilitation of commercial partnerships resulting in a total of 303 business alliances with 145 off-takers already buying the farmers’ produce across the 11 value chains, with a transaction value worth 23.439 billion naira. 

In terms of livelihood enhancement, the Project has empowered 55,864 direct beneficiaries; with 10,307 women and youth beneficiaries trained and 8,535 Business Investment Plans (BIPs) implemented under the Women and Youth Empowerment Program (WYEP). 

The Project has linked 200 agribusiness clusters to infrastructures such as boreholes, tube wells, and box culverts across the participating states. A total of 16 Aggregation and Cottage Processing Centers have been completed while 59 are at varying levels of construction across the participating States to make a total of 90 aggregation centers expected to be built at the endline. About 13.6km out of the target 80km of rural access roads have been completed while water and energy infrastructure linked to production and processing clusters are at various stages of construction and are to be completed by March 30, 2023. 

The project has continued to contribute to the national food basket across the different value chains in the year under review with significant increase in the output of the commodities when compared with the last mission’s figures. For instance, cocoa output increased by 129.01%, while poultry egg, cassava, rice and poultry meat increased by 48.3%, 24.7%, 23.8%, and 7.6% respectively. 

At a wrap-up meeting with the Federal Ministry of Finance, chaired by Deputy Director, International Economic Relations Department – IERD, Mr. Steve Ohaeri on December 22, 2022, the Mission findings presented in the Aide Memoire were highlighted and discussed.