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What’s the impact of modern rice farming in Nigeria?

Rice is one of the most consumed staples in Nigeria; it’s estimated that Nigerians consume more than five million metric tons of rice each year. In recent decades, insufficient local rice production has emerged as a significant food security issue. A historically weak agricultural sector paired with a growing population means Nigeria relies heavily on rice imports to meet a growing demand.

This challenge has been exacerbated by Covid-19 as the pandemic has severely disrupted imports, causing provisions to diminish and rice prices to increase. In addition, the sharp decline in oil prices as a result of the pandemic has reinforced the importance of import substitution and diversifying Nigeria’s economy away from oil.

To help strengthen Nigeria’s agricultural sector, in 2017 CDC committed $15 million to Sahel Capital’s Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN). FAFIN backs sustainable businesses that seek to revolutionise the Nigerian agribusiness landscape while creating jobs, improving productivity, and strengthening supply chains. One such business is Coscharis Farms, an integrated rice processor in Nigeria with nearly 2,500 hectares of land for rice cultivation.

Coscharis Farms has a modernised approach to large-scale farming in Nigeria with potential to improve rice yields and introduce innovations and efficiencies into the value chain. CDC’s latest Insight study, What’s the impact of modern rice farming in Nigeria? explores the impact of the Coscharis Farms model and how the business contributes to food security and employment generation in Nigeria. With support from the IMPACT Programme, 60 Decibels and CDC, in partnership with FAFIN and Coscharis Farms, conducted this study that draws on interviews with more than 60 of its employees and contractors.

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