The new initiative of the UK Government-funded Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) is testing the basics of new farming practices and models in the Niger Delta and has sown new livelihood and development opportunities.
The initiative focuses on the Niger Delta in partnership with alluvial agriculture, whose goal is the collective-farm business, which includes as many as 100,000 small farmers on farms covering an area of 463 square miles.
According to the Program Manager, SDN, Florence Kaemba: "Many people move to illegal industries because of the lack of alternative livelihoods. SDN, with financial support from the UK government, seeks to test and demonstrate viable alternative livelihoods in the Niger Delta by taking on pilot agricultural projects. "
One pilot project will check various approaches to the swamp for growing rice to establish the most effective method that can be increased in other places of the stream. It will be implemented with the participation of ex-participants of the artisanal oil industry, based on the research "Testing Innovations in Agricultural Methods and Commitments" that point to productive alternative livelihoods, can remove participants from the industry and deter new entrants. Another pilot project aims to reduce barriers to land ownership, access to capital and low-interest lending for commercially viable initiatives developing in the Niger delta.
SDN seeks to test different approaches to the swamp for growing rice to establish the most effective method that can be increased elsewhere in the stream. This pilot project uses and provides training for ex-participants in the growing artisanal petroleum industry in the region who are looking for safer and more legitimate livelihood alternatives. A group of agricultural specialists will test and compare the results of rice grown on 12 separate plots of land on six hectares and will report to inform future varieties and materials in order to maximize the return on investment and make it a viable livelihood alternative for communities living in Niger Delta creeks .
Along with testing which agricultural methods work best, SDN, in partnership with Aluvial, a private sector supplier, reduces the risks and barriers for 100 small and unemployed farmers, using different methods to maximize crop yields by 200 hectares.