VCDP works to enhance productivity and access to markets for rice and cassava smallholder farmers through a commodity value chain approach. The programme adopts a holistic and demand-driven approach to addressing constraints along the cassava and rice value chains. VCDP supports the development of Nigeria’s rice and cassava value chains using an inclusive strategy of capacity strengthening of actors along the chain (producers, processors and their organisations), as well as enablers (public and private institutions, service providers, policy and regulatory environment). In parallel, strong emphasis is placed on developing commodity-specific Value Chain Action Plans at LGA level for specificity, and which serve as the basis for rolling out relevant and sustainable activities.
The programme activities are focused on the following three priority areas of intervention called components.
- Component 1: Agricultural Market Development
- Component 2: Smallholder Productivity Enhancement
- Component 3: Programme Management and Coordination
Component 1: Agricultural Market Development: The aim of this component is to enhance the profitability of smallholder farmers and small/medium-scale agro-processors by improving their access to markets and their capacity to add value to locally produced raw materials. This will be achieved by (a) facilitating the linkage of farmers’ organisations’ and VC operators to local, national and – where appropriate – international markets to sell their products and (b) easing critical market infrastructure constraints to the processing, storage, handling and marketing of farm produce and their processed products. The component is divided into two sub-components, comprising (i) support to value addition and market linkages, and (ii) support to market infrastructure. Intervention mix will consist of an integrated set of activities at multiples levels, and include amongst others: improving the policy and regulatory framework for VC development; establishing quality control and standardisation systems; improving the market information systems; fostering linkages between actors along the value chain and to financial services; building business management capacity of value chain organisations; promoting adoption and acquisition of improved/ efficient processing, storage packaging and handling technologies; and improved feeder roads, marketing facilities and water supply.
Component 2: Smallholder Productivity Enhancement: The main objective of this component is to enhance smallholder farmer productivity on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis. Outcomes from this component, in the form of increased volume and quality of marketable produce, feed directly into Component 1. The component is divided into two sub-components, comprising (i) strengthening of farmers’ organisations, and (ii) support to smallholder production. Activities will include technical and management/ governance capability building of FOs and key service providers; production and dissemination of improved cassava planting material and certified seeds of rice; promotion of sustainable agricultural practices; access to inputs, improved cuttings and certified seed; irrigation and water control.
Component 3: Programme Coordination and Management: This component will ensure that the Programme is efficiently and effectively managed to achieve expected results. Gender, youth, environmental, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management and communication considerations is integrated in all aspects of programme management
The programme’s components have been designed to be complementary and mutually reinforcing.
The programme is adopting a comprehensive gender strategy that includes facilitating women’s access to assets, strengthening their groups in terms of value chain governance, and easing their workload and improving their well-being. Fifty percent of the matching grants will be earmarked for women to enable them to upgrade their production and processing technologies and capacities. In addition, the programme will apply the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) to provide a community-led empowerment methodology, strengthening communication and win-win collaboration.