LINKS helps bring together ideas with the capital that innovators need to realise the full potential of their innovations. Our work makes the value chains and markets in which innovators operate more competitive and productive, which in turn makes attracting investment and finance easier, more viable and profitable.
Improving Access to Agri Inputs and Services
To increase farmers’ access to inputs especially in hard-to-reach areas of Northern Nigeria, a different approach is required to what has been used traditionally. With the launch of the Driving Agricultural Inputs Markets and Services through Financial Inclusion initiative, we are working with to increase efficiency in farm inputs distribution, train farmers on appropriate usage of agricultural techniques, and facilitate access to finance.
LINKS established a Rural Promoters’ (RPs) network as the link between key distributors of inputs and farmers. 600 RPs have been identified. Good Agricultural Practices and other training are being provided to the RPs who in turn will train up to 30,000 farmers. The RPs also have the dual role of serving as agents of financial service providers as well as last-mile distributors of inputs. By increasing timely access to premium quality farm inputs, productivity will increase and so will the farmers’ incomes.
Capturing and Processing Recyclable Waste, Kaduna State
Kaduna city generates an estimated 450,000 metric tons of potentially recyclable waste each year (valued at US$90 million) of which only 0.5% is currently recovered and recycled. Low public awareness around recycling, combined with inefficient collection systems leaves most recyclable waste dumped and contaminated. Recyclable waste re-processors in the state cannot operate up to installed capacity due to the low recovery rate of recyclable waste from the system.
We are partnering with private sector operators to pilot a household-level recyclable waste collection model in Kaduna State. The initiative involves the separate collection of recyclable waste (starting with plastics) from households to be processed by recycling companies. This is expected to create 2,000 new jobs (40% women and 6% people living with disabilities) for Recyclable Waste Collectors (RWCs) with the mandate to collect waste from 500,000 households in the space of 12 months. The RWCs will be trained on effective waste collection, sorting and safety and health management.
Access to Mechanised Services
Of the estimated 2.7 million farming households across Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa, only 2,200 tractors are available, leaving 80% of estimated annual demand unmet.
To increase smallholder farmers’ access to mechanised services, LINKS is piloting the Mechanisation Service Provider (MSP) model in partnership with the Tractor Owners and Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria (TOFHAN). The model encourages individuals to invest in mechanisation equipment and provide services to smallholder farmers as a business.
We aim to resolve problems around inadequate access to mechanised services in Northern Nigeria by strengthening the network of MSP agents, improving their access to finance, and increasing awareness about agents among farmers. By also creating decentralised tractor service hubs, we will make it easier for farmers to access mechanised equipment and increase their production. Over 13,000 farmers are expected to increase their incomes by at least 25%, with 400 new jobs also being created.
Rice Aggregation Hub
Nigeria’s rice processors were only able to meet 60% of demand for up to 14 million metric tons of rice paddy in 2019. The recent ban on rice imports further increased the demand by rice processors for locally produced paddy. The paddy hub model by LINKS will provide inputs and training to increase farmers’ productivity, streamline logistics and processing (drying, cleaning, and bagging) to minimise losses and achieve economies of scale.
The initiative is expected to deliver premium-grade paddy from 6,000 smallholder rice farmers in Kano and Jigawa to partner mills in the pilot year.
LINKS is funded by the UK Government and
Tetra Tech International Development
Project implementation in these unprecedented times is challenging for all of us in Nigeria, but it presents new opportunities as well. As part of LINKS response to the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown, we have taken a number of initiatives