The 10th 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 3rd – 17th of July 2023. World Bank Senior Agriculture Economist and Task Team Leader, APPEALS led the mission – Dr. Manievel E. Sene led the mission, 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. 

Relevant MDA representatives including the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security – FMAFS; FMAFS Projects Coordinating Unit – PCU; Federal Ministry of Finance; State Project Coordinators and staff of the participating states and other stakeholders. 

Objective of the Mission: 

The main objective of the mission was to assess the project overall implementation status across all components towards the project closing date of September 30, 2023 and to update the agreed time-bound action plan for the project’s successful completion and closure.

Project Overall Implementation Progress:

Overall, the project progress towards achieving the Project Development Objective (PDO) is rated satisfactory. The first PDO indicator (Increase in productivity of agricultural produce of the priority value chains of project supported farmers) reached 62.62% against the endline target of 35%. The second PDO indicator (Increase in processed output of the priority value chains by project beneficiaries) reached 64.86% as against the project target of 40%. The third PDO indicator (Number of beneficiaries supported by the project of which women and youth percentage) reached 61,171 against the endline target of 60,000 (101.95%) with 43.24% being women against the endline target of 35%. 

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 3,588 which is made up of production VCIPs (74.1%), processing VCIPs (15.5%) and marketing VCIPs (10.6%). 

To significantly reduce the yield gap between farm trials and average national yields, 79 harmonized technologies have been demonstrated to 93,009 farmers (against 84,736 in the 9th mission) across the participating states. Furthermore, the number of farmers adopting improved technologies has exceeded the year-6 target of 35,000 to stand at 35,104 with females constituting about 35.3%. In addition, the project is also linking farmers to markets through the facilitation of commercial partnerships resulting in a total of 327 business alliances with 169 off-takers already buying the farmers’ produce across the 11 value chains, with a transaction worth of 29.797 billion naira.

Women and Youth Empowerment Programme:

Under the Women and Youth Empowerment Program (WYEP), the number of beneficiaries that have received training stood at 10,346 while all the approved BIPs (8,535) have been fully implemented. 

Livelihood Enhancement:

In terms of livelihood enhancement, the Project has empowered 61,171 direct beneficiaries (43.24% being women), and provided opportunity to 650 persons with disability to participate in productive activities. 

Infrastructure Support Agribusiness Clusters:

The project has also linked agribusiness clusters to infrastructures such as boreholes, tube wells, and box culverts across the participating states. A total of 60km out of 80 km 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 to be completed by the project closing date.

The project has continued to contribute to the national food basket across the different value chains in the current year. There was a 44.65% increase in the output of the eleven priority value chains from the last mission.

At a wrap-up meeting with the Federal Ministry of Finance, chaired by Deputy Director, International Economic Relations Department – IERD, Mr. Steve Ohaeri on August 18th 2023, highlights of the mission’s findings as captured in the Aide Memoire were in presented and discussed.

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