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Farmers harvest, bundle and thresh sesame in Jigawa State, Nigeria.


Nigeria’s agriculture sector employs approximately 75 percent of the country’s labor force. The sector is economically productive with tremendous potential for growth as it is large and diverse and plays a key role in food security in both West and Central Africa. Feed the Future is helping the country further develop this sector to increase opportunities for employment, contribute to regional food security and stability, and help people rise out of extreme poverty.

    Producers applying new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in Nigeria in FY18
    Hectares tended with new technologies or management practices in FY18
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY18
  • 236 THOUSAND
    Individuals who received nutrition-related professional training in Nigeria in FY18

Key Achievements

Feed the Future investments strengthened and expanded farmers’ access to markets and trade, including engaging with the Government of Nigeria to create numerous micro, small, and medium enterprise clinics across the country. These clinics helped reduce product registration time and costs with the government for both non-farm businesses and smallholder farmers. The clinics also helped increase access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises by unlocking $400,000 for nearly 300 maize producers, financing a $6 million debt facility for 10,000 farmers, and securing a $12.5 million investment for a medium-sized grain aggregator.

Feed the Future also worked with the Nigerian state government and local governments to improve their ability to administer social safety net programs that help the most vulnerable households better manage through crises.


These results reflect information from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. African Development Foundation, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2018 (FY18). For more information on the indicators above, please view our Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.


  • Improve agricultural productivity by connecting smallholder farmers to resources
  • Develop inclusive and resilient markets
  • Increase families’ access to a diverse and safe food supply for better nutrition

Zones of Influence in Nigeria

Map of Nigeria
  • 33 Local Government Areas spanning 11 states

Background Stats

  • 195 MILLION
    Number of people living in Nigeria (World Bank, 2018)
  • 1.9 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 21.2 Percent of added value (World Bank, 2018)
  • 49 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Nigeria (World Bank, 2018)
  • 37 PERCENT
    Percentage of stunted children under the age of 5 (NDHS, 2018)

Value Chains

  • Aquaculture
  • Cowpea
  • Goats
  • Maize/Corn
  • Rice
  • Soybean
Winnowing, pictured here, improves the quality of farmer’s grains by removing impurities and is predominantly carried out by women.


Despite high agricultural potential, Nigeria faces low agricultural productivity and relies on smallholder farming. With a growing population and increased demand, the agriculture sector is ripe for market-led growth, from processing to transportation to trade. Feed the Future stimulates growth in key markets by encouraging private sector partnerships, fostering agricultural innovation, and expanding economic opportunities for smallholders. Through investments in agriculture, resilience, and nutrition, Feed the Future is helping Nigeria promote sustainable, diverse, and inclusive economic growth.

Feed the Future is helping smallholder farmers and small- to medium-sized businesses improve their access to finance, agricultural inputs and technologies, extension services, and product development, especially for nutritious foods.

Feed the Future is also strengthening resilience so people can mitigate risks, adapt to shocks and stresses, and recover in the face of adversity that would otherwise push them back or further into poverty and hunger. With a particular focus on empowering women and youth, Feed the Future promotes private sector engagement to improve agricultural productivity and food security.

Evidence from northeastern Nigeria has shown that Boko Haram has used economic incentives, like business loans, as a recruitment tool. Feed the Future helps provide economic alternatives to these activities and reduce the recurring need for humanitarian assistance. The initiative also works with the Government of Nigeria’s Emergency Management Agency, relevant United Nations agencies, and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel to conduct post-harvest and flood assessments for early warning systems.


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Nigeria.

  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research
  • Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment
  • Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project
  • Feed the Future Nigeria and Nestle Maize Quality Improvement Partnership
  • Feed the Future Nigeria Integrated Agriculture
  • Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience
  • Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA)
  • The Commercial Service of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria
  • Water for Agriculture
  • U.S. African Development Foundation
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture