USAID supports MSMEs to improve smallholder farmers’ access to agro-inputs
This story and accompanying photos were published originally on usaid.gov/nigeria.
Yarima Agro Inputs and Services is the only service provider in land preparation in Saminaka Community, Lere Local Government Area, Kaduna State. In the past, the firm was selling agro-inputs with no advisory services to farmers on the proper use of the products. As a result, the firm records limited sales due to low patronage. In 2022, the USAID Nigeria Feed the Future Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Activity introduced Yarima Agro Inputs to most impactful practices including the use of power tillers to support smallholder farmers. As a direct result of this partnership, the firm employed six extension agents and began to reach farmers in their farming communities with extension messaging and inputs credits services.
According to Mr. Garba Salifu, one of the maize farmers who benefitted from the extension services provided by Yarima Agro Inputs and Services in Kaduna State: “Before meeting the MSME, I cultivated maize on two hectares of land using animals or big tractors to prepare the farm. The services were not always available when I needed them. Sometimes, I miss the planting period, and this affects my crop yield and income. Due to low yields, my family always suffered because the yield was not enough to feed the family and pay the children’s school fees. It became better when I joined the Yarima Agro Inputs and Services group of farmers. After registering with Yarima Agro Inputs and Services, the company provided land preparation services using the power tiller, inputs, and extension services. The company allowed me to pay for the land preparation and input after harvest.
“This arrangement made it easy for me to increase my farm size from two to four hectares. The input I got from the company also pushed my yield from 48 bags (4.8 metric tons/ha) to 76 bags (7.6 metric tons/ha). In the 2023 planting season, I got an average of N1.52 million (USD $3,376) against N480,000 (USD $1,066) from planting maize. My family is so happy because we can feed well and pay our children’s school fees with only half of our produce. All the farmers in the group were also happy, and some even obtained better yields than me. For example, Mrs. Regina Markus, farming rice on 0.5 hectares of land with the mechanization and extension services from Yarima Agro Inputs and Services, increased her land holding to one hectare. We thank USAID for supporting Yarima Agro Inputs and services to support us.”
The inputs credit incentivized the farmers to buy more inputs from Yarima Agro Inputs and Services to increase their hectarage. Within six months, Yarima Agro Inputs Services has increased the number of smallholder farmers’ patronage from 1000 to 38,000. As a result, the firm increased its sales by 275% (from USD $1,067 to USD $4,000 in one year due to high demand for agro-inputs and extension information.
Through the income generated from the sale of agro-inputs to an increased number of farmers, Yarima Agro Inputs and Services procured two power tillers worth $5,333 to meet the smallholder farmers’ demand for mechanization services. At the moment, Yarima Agro is providing mechanization services to 38,000 farmers. In addition to the previous six extension agents, the firm recently employed 10 lead farmers as Extension Agents, two of whom are women, to reach other communities in the local government. As part of the firm’s future growth plans, they plan to invest an additional $16,000 to buy six power tillers and provide extension services to over 50,000 smallholder farmers during the 2023 dry season and 2024 wet season farming. The firm also plans to recruit more Extension Agents and deploy more power tillers to more communities for mechanized land preparation services to farmers.