The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub awarded a $1.2 million co-investment grant to Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Ltd to boost the productivity, income, and resilience of maize and soybean smallholder farmers in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State.
Kaduna is home to approximately 1.3 million farming families, many of whom farm Nigerian staple crops maize and soybean. Unfortunately, domestic production of these grains fails to meet market demand because of outdated farming techniques, limited awareness of the market’s quality demand, and a lack of funds to improve practices.
Under the grant, Tomato Jos will leverage $8 million of private funds and launch a three-year plan to engage 4,000 smallholder farmers — 60 percent women and 40 percent youth — to provide raw grains for processing.
The farmers will learn modern techniques to ensure their crops’ quality and increase productivity. They will also be eligible for loans and a guaranteed minimum price for their product that will provide a much-needed financial backstop, particularly for those affected by COVID-19.
The Trade Hub expects smallholder farmers will be able to produce 3,600 metric tons of maize and 400 metric tons of soybean for Tomato Jos by the end of three years.
The grant will also help Tomato Jos expand its storage capacity for grains, source improved seeds for greater yields, and increase its operations in Kaduna state. Tomato Jos will also develop its mobile and cloud technology platforms for data capturing, farm monitoring, and improved communication.