FAO in Türkiye

FAO-Türkiye partnership expands to Nigeria’s Borno state with crop diversification project for drylands

Photo: © FAO

Ankara – An innovative project launched by FAO-Türkiye’s Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II) in Borno State, on 6 November, is set to transform agriculture in the arid regions of Nigeria. The project “Support to the diversification and sustainable crop production intensification for smallholder farmers in the drylands of Borno State” aims to build the capacity of farmers and agriculturalists to diversify cropping systems and to promote sustainable crop management techniques for drylands.


This collaborative project, involving Nigeria, FAO-Türkiye and the ministries of agriculture of both countries, with the support of the Plant Production and Protection Division of FAO (NSP), will run until July 2025 with a budget of USD 200 000.


The livelihoods of the 5.6 million people of Borno State in Nigeria depend largely on small-scale subsistence agriculture, which takes place in three agroecological zones: the Lake Chad basin and the Sudan and Sahel savannahs. Water shortages, climate change and low productivity are among the major challenges facing crop production systems in these zones. Key potential interventions that can help boost agricultural productivity and address the other two challenges are conservation agriculture and production diversity. Therefore, the project has been formulated to facilitate exchange of experiences between Türkiye and Nigeria in these areas.


The project inception meeting was held online on 6 November 2023, and was attended by high-level officials and relevant experts from Nigeria and Türkiye. During the opening session, Ayşegül Selışık, FAO Assistant Representative in Türkiye, presented the general framework of the FTPP II, and underscored the importance of the project for facilitating knowledge and sharing experience between the two countries. Selışık also hoped that the project will open new avenues for further collaboration between Türkiye and Nigeria.


Koffy Kouacou, FAO Representative in Nigeria and Representative to the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), stated that FAO-Nigeria is prepared to make all necessary efforts to ensure the project’s successful implementation.


Chikelu Mba, FAO Deputy Director and Officer-in-Charge of Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP), emphasized the importance of promoting sustainable plant production and protection practices within the context of the transformation of agrifood systems. Mba also highlighted the potential impact of the project, including its impact on seed multiplication in drylands and strengthened partnerships under the FAO umbrella.


Bukar Tijani, Secretary to the State Government and former FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, thanked the Government of Türkiye for its cooperation with Nigeria, and emphasized the importance of the project as a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


Hümeyra Yaman, the Director of the Field Crops Central Research Institute (FCCRI) of the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye, noted that the project will support smallholder farmers in Borno state by introducing high-value agricultural products such as legumes and medicinal and aromatic plants.


Hafiz Muminjanov, Lead Technical Officer of the project, presented the main objectives, activities and framework, and facilitated interactions among stakeholders and partners in order to finalize the workplan.


Reyhan Bahtiyarca Bagdat, the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Working Group Coordinator at the Field Crops Central Research Institute, presented an overview of crop production systems in Türkiye and shared the potential contributions of the Institute to the project.


The inception meeting concluded with a presentation by Muhammad Wakil from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria, on crop production in Borno State and the expected support from the project.


About the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes

The objectives of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes are to provide support to ensure food security, rural poverty reduction and sustainable forest management; combat desertification; and preserve ecosystems in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and other countries of mutual interest.

Established in 2007, the first phase of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP) has benefited from trust fund contributions totalling USD 10 million, financed by the Government of Türkiye and represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. During the first phase of the programme, 28 projects were implemented in 16 countries between 2009 and 2015.

In 2014, Türkiye and FAO commenced the second phase of the FTPP along with the first phase of the FAO-Türkiye Forestry Partnership Programme (FTFP) with additional funding of USD 20 million, bringing Türkiye’s total contribution to USD 30 million.