HortiNigeria Project Targets 60,000 Smallholder Farmers, €9.7m Annually – To ensure a sustainable gender and youth inclusive horticulture sub-sector that contributes to food and nutrition security in Nigeria, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria has unveiled the HortiNigeria Programme.
The programme was awarded to the International Fertiliser Development Center (IFDC) and its consortium partners East-West seed Knowledge Transfer (EWS-KT), Wageningen University and Research (WUR), and KIT Royal Tropical Institute.
The initiative, which is projected to generate about €9.7 million would be implemented in Kano, Kaduna, Ogun and Oyo states by the IFDC.
The four-year programme, which was officially launched today (Thursday), is part of an enhancement in the bilateral relations between The Netherlands and Nigeria.
HortiNigeria would focus on tomato, okra, onion, and pepper value chains and will work through four components, centring only on vegetables for domestic markets.
Also, the programme intends to boost the productivity and income of 60,000 smallholder farmers (50% youth and 40% women) by introducing eco-efficient agronomic practices and increasing acreage under sustainable cultivation by 15,000 hectares.
Additionally, the project will increase access to finance for 50 agricultural-related SMEs, enhance sector coordination, and facilitate 200 business-to-business linkages in all four states.
Speaking about the project, the First Secretary on Food Security and Climate, Embassy of the Netherlands, Mariska Lammers, said, “it is very exciting to see our largest food security programme in Nigeria taking off.
“The horticulture sector here offers many opportunities and we believe The Netherlands can add the most value. Nigeria is currently unable to meet the local demand for
vegetables with a supply gap of 13 million metric tons.
“The horticultural sector employs a high number of women and youth, and increased horticultural production will lead to better availability and affordability of nutritious foods.”
On his part, the Programme Director of HortiNigeria stated that by the end of 2025, HortiNigeria would paint a story about 60,000 motivated farmers producing more and better-quality vegetables for the market, with an annual incremental value of €9.7million.