Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD) Capacity Support Project

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Capacity Support Project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd aims to provide critical technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).

1st Training: Effective Communication & Policy Making

The first capacity-building training for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff was held on April 12th- 15th, 2021 at ARMTI, Abuja. The training was attended by 48 participants selected from 21 FMARD departments, five of which were from the state offices: Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Cross River, and Bauchi.

The objectives for the training were for the participants to:

  • Develop critical and relevant writing skills and embrace tailored templates for effective and efficient communications within FMARD and with external stakeholders.
  • Develop critical skills for developing and managing budgets within FMARD and with all external stakeholders including development partners.
  • Develop and embrace the application of the tools and methods for monitoring project activities and reporting on project impact.
  • Develop critical policy writing and monitoring skills.

Dr. Earnest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized the need for participants to conduct step-down trainings in their respective departments to foster a knowledge-sharing culture within the Ministry.

Sessions were facilitated by industry experts on the Art of Effective Communication, Developing Proposals and Managing Project Impact, Analyzing the Impact of Agricultural Policies and Tools for Developing a Comprehensive Budget.

During the breakout sessions, participants discussed challenges they face and ways forward regarding communication, budgeting, policy formulation, and project implementation within FMARD and at the end of the training, they developed and prioritized key action points to foster effective communication in their daily roles.

2nd Training: Value Chain Transformation from Farm to Fork

The second capacity-building training for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff was held on May 3rd – 5th May 2021 at ARMTI, Abuja. The training was attended by 41 participants selected from FMARD departments, five of which were from the state offices in Borno, Ondo, Rivers, Abia, Sokoto, and the rest from the Abuja office.

The objectives for the training were for the participants to:

  • Understand and appreciate the advances in Nigeria’s most critical agribusiness value chains.
  • Map the actors within and along the value chain and identify their pain points, challenges, and opportunities, which require policy interventions. Participants should be able to replicate this process in other value chains and make informed recommendations for interventions going forward.
  • Understand best practices in other countries that can be adapted to the Nigerian context with a wider perspective on best practices, lessons learnt from other regions via the training and practical examples is key to exposing opportunities to participants.
  • Develop clear strategic responses for strengthening Nigeria’s priority value chains.

The second capacity-building training for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff was held on May 3rd – 5th May 2021 at ARMTI, Abuja. The training was attended by 41 participants selected from FMARD departments, five of which were from the state offices in Borno, Ondo, Rivers, Abia, Sokoto, and the rest from the Abuja office.

In addition, participants also discussed the gender gaps and constraints that exist in the priority value chains and came up with recommendations for inclusion strategies some of which center around closing the gender gap in extension worker services and recruitment.

Participants reported that this training has exposed them to new ways of thinking and innovative ideas especially in the areas of gender awareness and the disparity in FMARD, ideas on Urban Agriculture and Soilless farming, seeing agriculture as a commercially viable business and not a second option, Identifying one’s influence within the workplace and how to implement recommendations accordingly.

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