PIND supports smallholder farmers, SMEs to cushion effects of pandemic

2020 was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which crippled socio-economic activities around the world. However, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), a Nigerian non-profit organization established in 2010, and its partners helped multi-sector market actors to create a joint-market response to the pandemic that lessened the negative impacts on thousands of poor smallholder farmers and small businesses in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

“PIND’s continued investments in capacity building and our market-led, locally-owned solutions allowed us to respond to the pandemic to minimize its socioeconomic impacts” says Dara Akala, executive director, PIND, during the launch of the foundation’s 2020 annual report, tagged “Resiliency and Results in A Pandemic”.

PIND supported its partners and key actors to reduce poverty, foster stability, power coastal communities, foster youth employment, and stimulate an enabling environment for development in the region by promoting new practices that helped them to adapt quickly and withstand the shock of the pandemic, accounting for the performance shared in the Foundation’s 2020 annual report.

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“In our efforts to reduce poverty in the region during the year 2020, PIND through its Agricultural Market Systems Development program reached 59,710 small-holder farmers and MSMEs with information on good business practices and climate-smart technologies that will help them improve their efficiency, productivity and ultimately income. 38,448 o the smallholder farmers and businesses reached who adopted the improved practices increased their combined incomes by over N11.4 billion,’’ Akala said.

Nzeota Prince Uche, a poultry farmer from Abia State, and PIND project participant, said he was doing like 50-100 broilers and after attending trainings from PIND, he has scaled up to 500 broilers and 1,000 layers. He also provides services to other farmers.

PIND’s Peace Building program is working to foster stability in the region. ‘’702 peace actors under the umbrella of our grassroot infrastructure for peace building – the Partners for Peace (P4P) Network, intervened to prevent and resolve 147 conflicts within their communities in the year 2020. 200 peace building stakeholders also had their conflict management skills improved to enable them prevent or resolve conflict situations within their communities”, Akala commented.

Speaking on PIND’s effort to addressing the increasing rate of youth unemployment in the Niger Delta, Akala said, “In our effort to foster youth employment in the region, we facilitated the training of 4,355 vulnerable youth who gained market-relevant skills for employment in emerging sectors through the Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways (NDYEP) project implemented by PIND with funding support from Ford Foundation. About 1,933 of them have been linked to waged employment or supported to start up enterprises in emerging sectors in the region.”

Akala also noted, “Through our work to provide electricity access to coastal communities using solar mini-grids and solar refrigerators, PIND has facilitated access to clean energy for 461 households and 595 MSMEs in the coastal communities in the region. These households and businesses have saved N12.3 million by accessing these clean energy solutions”.

Tari Jackson, a fish dryer in Fish Town, said, “There is a solar cold room now in Fish Town and this is really going to help us a lot because sometimes our fishes get spoiled because there is no money to buy firewood and as a result we lose a lot of money”.

In the foundation’s quest for enabling development in the region in 2020, PIND influenced a total value of N40 million from stakeholders for development interventions in the Niger Delta through advocacy, built the capacity of local organisations that raised N120.5 million in grants for community-response services.

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