The five-year agreement, signed during the opening day of the Feed Nigeria Summit, aims to improve livelihoods across the food value chain and foster environmental sustainability of agricultural development, said Debisi Araba, CIAT regional director for Africa.
“This partnership is poised to support and benefit all value chain actors, including those working in the production, distribution and consumption hubs of the food system,” Araba said.
CIAT’s initial plan with Alluvial will focus on climate change adaptation, soil fertility and mapping, yield optimization and making markets work for the poor, among other areas being explored by the two organizations. Their findings will be reported at least twice a year.
CIAT is a research center for the International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) – a global research partnership for a food-secure future supported by private foundations, national governments and multilateral development agencies.
Alluvial is tackling systemic problems that leave most African smallholders in poverty and threaten food security across the developing world by aggregating farmers to create a nucleus of minimum efficient scale and the necessary education, mechanization, inputs and market access.
“Alluvial’s direct engagement with various value chain actors, including farmers, provides CIAT with a conduit to rapidly disseminate agriculture innovations acquired and developed through our partnerships and activities around the world,” said Araba. “CIAT provides Alluvial with the know-how, monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure that the investment in Nigeria is globally competitive and environmentally sustainable, and ensures that the investment is able to evolve and respond to market signals.”
Alluvial Managing Director Dimieari Von Kemedi said CIAT’s work through Alluvial will provide scientific and social lessons that can be applied to its network across tropical regions.
While poverty has reportedly been falling across the developing world, food shortages have been rising, as evidenced by increased malnutrition rates since 2014.
Higher population growth puts Africa at particular risk of a food and humanitarian crisis with global dimensions in terms of unprecedented migration. Nigeria is at the epicenter: currently the world’s seventh largest country, Nigeria will overtake the U.S. as the third most populous by 2050, according to a 2017 report by the UN’s Department of Economic & Social Affairs.
“CIAT presents a fantastic opportunity for Alluvial as we benefit directly from many decades of research and experience that CIAT will bring to our community block model to improve yield and make markets work for the poor,” said Kemedi. “We will celebrate success only when our work helps farmers to earn higher incomes and contributes to food security.”