Want to eliminate poverty in Nigeria? Increasing the yields of smallholder farmers might be a good place to start.
Smallholder farmers are those who plant on small plots of land - approximately 0.5 hectares - with the help of family and friends. Mostly for subsistence purposes.
By some estimates, these farmers make up around 80% of the total number of farmers in Nigeria.
In other words, smallholder farmers are the nucleus of the Nigerian agricultural sector.
Let us look at the bigger picture.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), agriculture accounts for around half of employment and over 25% of GDP.
With these contributions from farmers, they still suffer from poverty. A survey of smallholder farmers carried out by the CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), showed that only 27% of the farmers live above the poverty line ($2.50 daily).
More than half live on about $1.25