ALGON: Sustaining Project Comprehensive Local Agriculture Plan (C-LAP) And The New Initiative

ALGON: Sustaining Project Comprehensive Local Agriculture Plan (C-LAP) And The New Initiative
By Philip Agbese
C-LAP being a Comprehensive Agricultural Plan for Local Government Areas and  a blueprint for agricultural revolution.
PREAMBLE: The partnership entered into by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a consortium of five world class reputable firms and institutions which birthed the Project Comprehensive Local Agriculture Plan (C-LAP) has indicated growth indices in production as well as output in the Nigerian Agricultural sector.
The benefits of the project has been highlighted to ensure sustainability by the new executive committee of ALGON ably led by Hon. Ibrahim Ahmed Karaye to key into the initiative so as to consolidate on the gains recorded  and transform the 774 local governments in Nigeria in line with the focus of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to develop the third tier of government, diversify the economy and make Nigeria not only self sustaining in food production but a major exporter of food.
BACKGROUND:  “CLAP: Road Map On Improving The Agricultural Situation in Nigeria”
Nigeria is an agrarian society, with agriculture contributing about 24 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). About 70 percent of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihood. Nigeria is presently facing several challenges in agriculture sector. These problems can be attributed to natural and human causes affecting overall economic development and growth. This has consequently undermined socio-economic growth and thus constitutes a threat to the federal government of Nigeria’s “vision 2020”.
Recent assessments of the situation in the country confirm the scale of the problem has risen above what communities, local governments, states and federal government can address without help from development partners.
Consequently, the association of the local government of Nigeria (ALGON) is adopting a bottom –up approach through a comprehensive plan for development of agriculture (CLAP) at “local government level” in 774 LGAs of Nigeria towards the improvement of the agricultural sector.
THE PROJECT:
C-LAP is an integrated and participatory action plan for the development of LGAs in agriculture allied sectors. CLAP will add value to Nigeria’s agricultural raw materials and integrate Nigeria into world agricultural markets. ALGON has initiated the process of C-LAP at grassroots level to achieve the following:
* Prepare a comprehensive local agriculture plan (C-LAP) through participatory process involving various organizations and stakeholders.
*Enable optimum utilization of scarce natural, physical &financial resources.
*Assess and plan for the infrastructure required to support the agricultural development.
*Establish linkages with the required institutional support services, like credit, technology transfer, ICT, research etc.
*Evolve an action plan for achieving sustainable agricultural growth with food security and cropping system that will improve farmer’s income.
CONCEPT FOR SUSTAINED PARTNERSHIP:
1.     The C-LAP recognizes that agricultural commercialization is a complex and dynamic process involving social structure, hence its major focus would be  on the farmers, traders and processors as the key agents of commercialization, and not on commodities that can be commercialized.
2.     (i) As the stakeholders in the commercialization process are poorly integrated, an integral part of the plan  is to provide institutional mechanisms that facilitate the emergence of effective networks and value chains.
(ii)   Emphasize on the need for a demand-driven approach, where the key players themselves make investment decisions related to technology, infrastructure, marketing and capacity, rather than the investments being supply driven by the public sector.
3.Linking farmers to markets and opportunities for establishing primary, secondary, tertiary markets and distributive and export market at a national level.
4. Creating opportunities for value addition by establishing food processing industries in the LAGs and one customized mega Food Park for each state depending on the raw material availability.
METHODS:
To address the forward linkages, the project will:
1.     Design food mart retail chain model to create a network that delivers the agricultural produce straight to the door step of the consumers.
2.     Strengthen the entire value chain form seed to pate with a shorter value chain ensuring the additional cost at competitive prices. Therefore, aggregating 774 farms and liking these farms to a national retail chain, wholesale markets and mega food parks will result in enhancing the net income.
3.     It will also create business opportunities for franchise operators, jobs for the youth; reduce wastage of agricultural produce as there is a defined retail network to absorb production. Further, empowering farmers and Agripreneurs through self-employment as an option for their additional income or a full-fledged livelihood sustainability.
4.     Create opportunities for private investors to invest in food chains and finally the business can be taken to the capital market in 3-4 years so that ALGON has a major benefit and becomes a financially viable tier of Government.
THE BIG IDEA:
The objective of the project is to design an integrated and participatory action plan for the development of local area in general and agriculture and allied sectors in particular. The planning process should be initiated at grass root level i.e. at village /micro-level and obviously the planners at village level will have to collect the Basic primary data. The objectives of comprehensive local agriculture plan (C-LAP) are:
1. To prepare a comprehensive local agriculture plan (C-LAP) through participatory process involving various organizations and stakeholders.
2. To enable optimum utilization of scarce natural, physical & financial resources
3. To assess and plan for the infrastructure required to support the agriculture development
4. To establish linkages with the required institutional support services, like credit, technology transfer, ICT, research etc.
5. To evolve an action plan for achieving sustainable agricultural growth with food security and cropping system that will improve farmer’s income.
6. Establish one integrated model/demonstration forms (5 – 20 ha. Each) in each of the 774 LGAs
7. Aggregating 774 farms and linking these farms to a national retail chain, wholesale markets and mega food parks.
8. To address the forward linkages; the project will design food mart retail chain motel to create a network that delivers the agricultural produce straight to the door step of the consumers.
9. Designing of mega food parks (one per each state) which will be customized to the Local crop production per state and will be a plug and play operation for any investor that will operate in the food park.
10. Designing farmer’s markets in each LGA mega market at the state capitals and one at national level.
11. To create opportunities for private investors to invest in food chains and finally the business can be taken to the capital market so that ALGON has a major benefit and sustain at its own.
HOW C-LAP IS STRUCTURED:
The C-LAP process will ensure local need based and appropriate strategy for the upliftment of the agricultural sector of the country as a whole. The constitution of the plan will be focused on the following aspects:
1. Agricultural plans are prepared for the local area/district and then integrated in the agricultural plans of the state based on the agro-climatic conditions, availability of technology,
2. Local needs / crops / feed and fodder / animal husbandry / dairying / fisheries / priorities should be reflected in the plan.
3. Productivity gaps for important crops and livestock and fisheries will be reduced and the returns to the farmers from these are maximized
4. Quantifiable qualitative changes in the productivities of the above
5. Linking farmers to markets and opportunities for establishing primary, secondary tertiary markets and distributive and export market at national level
6. Evaluation of opportunities for valuate addition by establishing food processing industries in the LAGs and one customized mega food park for each state depending on the raw material availability
7. Livestock and fisheries options may be given due consideration as a n important source of income
8. Infrastructural needs may also be quantified
9. Risk Analyses and risk mitigation measures may be given proper space in the plan document.
DELIVERABLES:
✓ Designing of comprehensive local government area agricultural development plan
✓ Submission of monthly and annual progress reports based on agribusiness strategy.
✓ Field /Exposure visits reports.
✓ Procurement of tractors and other farm machinery, implements, office equipment etc.
✓ Linking farmers to markets and opportunities for establishing primary secondary, tertiary markets and distributive and export market at national level.
✓ Aggregating 774 farms and linking these farms to a national retail chain, wholesale markets and mega food parks
✓ Design food mar retail model to create a network that delivers the agricultural produce straight to the door step of the consumers
✓ Evaluation of opportunities for value addition
✓ Designing of mega food parks (one per each state ) which will be customized to the local crop production per state and will be a plug and play operation for any investor that will operate in the food park
✓ Training and capacity building plan/module for implementation of Agribusiness strategy.
✓ Technical leaflets, pamphlets, bulletin in collaboration with technical team.
✓ Documentation of best practices and success stories of agribusiness in the project.
✓ Establishing one integrated model farms in each of the LGA
✓ Mid-term and End project impact assessment reports of agribusiness related works of the project.
PROJECT KEY OUTCOMES:
Outcome 1: Designing models, sustainable agricultural technologies and practices for demonstration in the model farm, thereby promoting adoption of farmers centric research centric research. It shall also help to improve on the yield and generate adequate income to manage the overheads and enterprise costs to demonstrate business viability. This will ultimately assist to attain food sufficiency, a much desired goal for food security.
Outcome 2: Community –level farm enterprises (cereals, High value Crop, Root crops, Livestock, Horticulture, Vegetable farming, floriculture, medicinal plants, farm mechanization, organic farming, Green Manure, Bio-fertilizers, Fodder crops, Mushrooms, Apiary, Social forestry, Boundary plantation, Vermicompost, and community vermincompost facilitated and established In project area under the guidance of international consultants, locally recruited staff and other partners.
Outcome 3: linking prospective producers and buyer’s to promote convenient marketing of the farmer produce in each LGA. Farmers shall be longer feel the effects of price fluctuation since they shall be able to buy own produce and sell later when price stabilizes. Linking farmers to market at national level.
Outcome 4: Generating immense employment opportunities for community in each LGAs at large given the diversity of activities involved in integrated farming system and eventually improving the health and quality.
Outcome 5: Attract heavy investment for establishment of mega or micro food processing centers with higher level of processing to help in minimizing post harvest losses, improving value addition, crop, diversification, ensuring better returns and increased Export earnings. Mega food parks will provide state of the art infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market. It will include creation of infrastructure near the farm, transportation, logistics and centralized processing centers.
The aim of food processing industries is to rise the processing of perishables in the country form the existing 2% to 4%, value addition from 20% to 35% and increase the share in global food trade. The expected outcome is increased realization for farmers, creation of high quality processing infrastructure, reduction in wastage, capacity building of producers and processors and creation of an efficient supply chain along with significant direct and indirect employment generation. It is expected to establish 10-15 food processing units in each of the mega food park in each state and employment generation of all at least 2000 from each mega food park is expected. Designing of mega food parks (one per each state) which will be customized to the local crop production per state and will be a plug and play operation for any investor that will operate in the food park.
Outcome 6: provide institutional mechanism for producers, and retailers to work together, to establish a sustainable raw material supply chain for each LGA. Supporting the different types of direct farmer-to –consumer markets and the wide variety of marketing channels used to distribute foods nationally, internationally through ‘farmers Market thereby, building capacity to enhance marketing opportunities through the purchase of new equipment, such as increase refrigerated storage, warehouses etc.
Outcome 7: Develop new market opportunities for farm and arm operations serving local markets, b developing improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assisting in the development, improvement and expansion of both direct –to- consumer marketing outlets and infrastructure supporting local and regionally produced food products.
Outcome8: Optimize export potential of agriculture sector through a paradigm shift from supply-led production to export-demand driven high value agriculture by cultivation of high values crops like cassava, cocoa, cola nut, ginger, and cashew etc.
Outcome 9: Diverse enterprise, to increase resilience of LGAs, to withstand any adverse conditions on the farmer’s field that may threat the agricultural situation and may cause risk to livelihood
Outcome 10: Farmers, youth, women and children trained in sustainable agricultural practices, technologies and enterprise models, both in the farm and in the communities. Communities from LGAs and other NGOs will be trained based on the demand. Will also empower them through capacity building eventually creating an enabling environment for them to start large scale farming and also to diversify production into areas that are economically more feasible.
Outcome 11: Strengthen of rural communication services for improving grass root level exchange and linkages. Communities around the farm mobilized and the office bearers of LGAs trained to govern and manage farm in the long run, so that the community leaders are readied to take over management of farm in the coming year.
Outcome 12: Models, experiences and practices tested and documented and shared for replication and reference. Demonstration of new technologies in farming, mechanization, establishment of integrated model farm and aggregating 774 farms and linking these farms to a national retail chain, wholesale markets and mega food parks. Design food mart retail chain model to create a network that delivers the agricultural produce straight to the door step of the consumers.
Outcome 13: Encourage large scale production, improving farm worker’s productivity, production efficiency and improving the quality of farm produce.
Outcome 14: employment Generation: the project is expected to generate direct employment of 2700 in nursery production, pack houses and integrated model farms, mega food parks processing units and indirect employment of 5000 persons per LGA is as follows:
➢ Managerial and scientific manpower 100 persons
➢ Skilled manpower in Mega food park 600 persons
➢ Unskilled manpower 2000 persons
➢ Indirect employment like transport, marketing etc 5000 persons
TOTAL 7570 Persons
Outcome 15: Agriculture Revolution, self-efficiency, Replicability, Import Substitution and exports to neighboring countries.
THE CONSORTIUM:
The consortium is made up of five globally recognized reputable firms and institutions namely, The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), The Career Point University,  the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) Progressive Research Organization for Welfare (PROW) and Global Agrisystem.
BRIEF ON THE FIRMS:
The
 International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Laguna, has 15 country offices and about 1,000 staff members representing more than 30 nationalities.
The M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) was established in 1988 as a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M. S. Swaminathan with proceeds from the “First World Food Prize” that he received in 1987. The Foundation aims to accelerate use of modern science and technology for agricultural and rural development to improve ives and livelihoods of communities.
The MSSRF follows a pro-poor, pro-women and pro-nature approach and applies appropriate science and technology options to address practical problems faced by rural populations in agriculture, food and nutrition. These efforts have been undertaken in a participatory manner and in partnership with other knowledge-based institutions, public and private sector organizations and local communities.
From a small beginning, across the years, the Foundation has made its impact felt in various dimensions making a difference to the lives of over 600,000 farm families impacting livelihood of 100,000 farmers and fisherfolk every day with influence that spreads across 18 countries
The Career Point University
Core values of the University are defined to provide good services by good governance system. ONS, MEMBERSHIPS, RECOGNITIONS AND AWARDS PROGRAMS
The University programs are approved by the Regulatory Commission of HP Government and fee structure by the Department of Higher Education, Government of Himachal Pradesh.
PROW
Progressive Research Organization for Welfare (PROW) is an autonomous Research and Development consultancy Organization, PROW was set by a team of experienced, eminent and young Professionals with a capability to provide a wide range of research and consultancy services in wide areas including community Development, Environment Management, Feasibility & Situation Analysis, Project and Program Evaluations and Market Research.
The PROW professionals are committed towards the systematic inquiry, that is designed to collect, analysis, interpret and use data to describe, predict or control a phenomenon either in social or in market sector. In brief, our professionals are devoted towards using research as a basis for generating new knowledge as also for guiding towards better policy formulation and planning.
PROW has three wings- Research, Field Unit and Data Analysis & Management working in close co-ordination with each other. PROW besides having a panel of more than 50 field investigators has a panel of consultants/technical experts and collaborating organizations on project basis. This arrangement gives PROW the strength to undertake research in a large number of areas.
Hence PROW professionals are rated high for appropriate conceptualization, strategic thinking and most relevant research based recommendations for improved effectiveness of interventions.
Global Agrisystem
 Incorporated as Cebeco India with Cebeco Group Cooperative, Holland on 13th January 1998, Global Agrisystem offers consulting , technical assistance, post harvest technology and fresh produce.
It operates in India and Africa.
Ü By partnering with farmers on an equitable basis, Global AgriSystem will position itself as India’s premier Supply Chain Managers, providing best quality fresh produce to retailers, exporters and processors.
Ü Global AgriSystem will revitalize Indian agriculture by introducing post-harvest technology and management skills of the highest international standard.
Attend the seminar coming up in Abuja on the 4th of October, 2017 for the A-Z on this revolutionary program.
Agbese is a strategist and sent in this piece from Abuja.