At the onset of the 2020 wet planting season, Nigerian farmers were faced with an obvious challenge – a rise in prices and scarcity of essential agricultural inputs like fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, etc. – caused by the globally ravaging pandemic and its attendant cessation of movement.

To mitigate these serious socio-economic uncertainties, DDI, through the USADF Capital for African Resilience-building and Enterprises Support (C.A.R.E.S) COVID-19 Program, facilitated (and is supervising) the provision of grant support to agric and agro-allied enterprises, cooperatives and producer groups, youth entrepreneurs, and off-grid energy solution companies. The program was launched in April 2020 by USADF to provide financial and technical support for African enterprises and entrepreneurs to cushion the devastating impact that COVID-19 will most likely have on the African economy.

Galvanized by this investment from USADF, a beneficiary – Women Farmers Advancement Group (WOFAN), a support network for women farmers and cooperatives in seven Northern states has commenced the distribution of farm inputs to 2,400 members (comprising cooperatives and groups) in Kano State with 1 hectare worth of input per cooperative, while some female rice processors have also received a ton of rice paddy each.

As George Washington, America’s first president once said, “I know of no pursuit in which more zeal and important service can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture…” and with the recent Federal Government’s appeal to farmers to “produce more’ as Nigeria had no money for the importation of food, these farmers are set for the planting season – #COVID-19 notwithstanding. Indeed, an investment in agriculture remains an investment in the right direction.