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Summary of SRI in Nigeria

Nigeria is the largest producer and consumer of rice in Africa. As of 2021, it produces about 5 million metric tonnes of rice against a demand of 6.8 million metric tonnes per annum. About 90% of the rice is grown on paddies by resource-constrained smallholder farmers. Rice paddies contribute about 15-20% of total global anthropological methane emissions, and overall rice farming accounts for around 2.5% of all global human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. (LINKS ppt, 2021)

Trials with the System of Rice Intensification were first undertaken at the Sabon Gari station of Ahmadu Bello University in 2006-07, and farmer trainings and trials were done in Ondo State in 2007, but the results were not well-documented. In 2010, the Nigerian NGO Green Sahel-RDI began promoting SRI in Jigawa State after sending participants to an SRI event sponsored the USAID-funded IICEM/E-ATP Expanded Agribusiness Trade Promotion project in Mali in 2010. In July 2011, Green Sahel Agricultural and Rural Development Institute (GSARDI) conducted a training program on SRI and organic methods with support from E-ATP project in Jigawa State. According to a 2012 USAID PowerPoint, farmers trained by the E-ATP SRI events in Nigeria have gotten yields up to 10 tons/ha. Subsequent trials are ongoing. A 2013 article about the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) in Kano State reports adoption of SRI among rice farmers in project areas where SRI is being extended resulted in an average yield increase from 2.7 to 3.6 metric ton per hectare. Nigeria is included in the project Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa (SRI-WAAPP), a regional World Bank-financed effort to increase rice productivity throughout a 13-country Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that was formally launched during January 2014. On February 7, 2014, an SRI initiative under the WAAPP-assisted Rice Value Chain Innovation Platform was launched in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. The SRI-WAAPP field sites as of 2016 are shown in the map at right. During 2018, the Institute for Agricultural Research of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria embarked on a project by training 1,000 Bakolori farmers in System of Rice Intensification methods.

During 2021, thr LINKS program (Catalysing Economic Growth for Northern Nigeria) began using the SRI in Jigawa and Kano States to increase farmer incomes through increased yields while reducing GHG emissions, seed utilization, and water consumption in a commercially and environmentally sustainable manner. According to an article on the LINKS website, the pilots aim to achieve increased incomes for 1,000 farmers. In October 2021, the Adaptation Fund approved the SRI-based “Scaling up Climate Resilient Rice Production in West Africa” (RICOWAS) project which includes Nigeria and 12 other countries in the region. A January 2022 article in the Vanguard relays that 342 rice farmers from 27 Commodity Interest Groups (CIGS) in Kogi State recorded bumper rice harvests despite poor rainfall after receiving training in SRI and other technololgies as well as support given by KOGI APPEALS project.

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