As with any part of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic depressed the economy of Nigeria. Access to finance for vulnerable smallholder farmers and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) became an even bigger challenge. White sorghum farmers in northern Nigeria have been unable to access quality inputs such as fertilizer and improved seeds, due to the high cost and unavailability in markets, circulation of sub-standard inputs, as well as severely reduced household incomes, threatening their productivity.
2SCALE took on this challenge through its partnership with Adefunke Desh Varieties Limited, a large-scale aggregator that offtakes high-quality white sorghum from smallholder farmers in Nigeria and supplies it to large-scale processing companies. Adefunke Desh developed a competitive sorghum out-grower scheme named ARZIKIN NOMA and implemented it in June 2021.
Arzikin-Noma facilitates access to high-quality input credits for smallholder farmers, supports capacity strengthening on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and provides a competitive market for smallholder farmers. The input credit arrangement with Arzikin-Noma aims to increase the supply of quality grains that are free from contamination to meet market demand. In addition, it provides a solution for the lack of traceability of grains, which is the ability to identify where the food products come from and where they end up at any stage of the grain supply chain.