Rural Resilience Activity (RRA): Empowering Communities in the North East

In the heart of North Eastern Nigeria, a transformation is underway. The Rural Resilience Activity (RRA), a Feed the Future initiative, is making strides toward economic recovery and sustainable growth in areas once shadowed by vulnerability. The Rural Resilience Activity (RRA) is a Feed the Future initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented by Mercy Corps Nigeria (MCN) in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). The goal of the Rural Resilience Activity is to facilitate and protect economic recovery and growth in vulnerable, conflict-affected areas and sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty via expanded opportunities. The Activity seeks to increase incomes and improve the livelihood and resilience of households through market-led growth in 4 States (Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe States) in North Eastern Nigeria.

Layered on the principles of broadened and inclusive growth through agricultural competitiveness, objectives of the Activity include a) inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth; b) strengthened resilience among people and systems; and c) a well-nourished population, especially women and children, thereby contributing to sustainable reductions in global hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

The Role and Achievements of DDI

Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) is honoured to collaborate as a vital component of this impactful program. Our role, focusing on the empowerment of smallholder farmers through market systems development, signifies our unwavering commitment to rebuilding and revitalizing communities. As a sub-awardee of Mercy Corps Nigeria within the RRA framework, DDI has been pivotal in nurturing the seed of change. We’ve diligently worked to integrate over 5,000 smallholder farmers into competitive market systems, establishing a robust foundation for economic stability. Our initiatives have fostered institutional growth and nurtured partnerships crucial for the region’s revival.

Milestone Achievement: Strengthening Agricultural Foundations

As a key collaborator with Mercy Corps Nigeria (MCN), DDI has significantly contributed to the agricultural development and economic empowerment of 12,151 smallholder farmers from over 400 producer organizations and cooperative societies within the BAYG States (Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Gombe). This initiative, rooted in a market systems development methodology, has not only fortified the institutional capacities of these producer organizations but has also fostered inclusivity; 28% of these farmers are women, 27% are youth, and 16% are internally displaced persons (IDPs), all now with brighter economic prospects due to the intervention.

DDI’s Input and Output Market Access Model has been instrumental in this transformation. It has carved pathways for these organizations to form enduring partnerships and develop essential linkages with key value chain actors. This strategic move has broadened their access to crucial markets, credit, financial services, and advanced farm mechanization services, including those critical for harvest and post-harvest processes.

The culmination of this initiative saw the establishment of robust linkages between the producer organizations and major off-takers and agro-processors throughout the region. Moreover, these groups have secured connections with PULA, an agricultural insurance service provider, marking a significant step towards risk management and sustainability in their agricultural endeavours.

Impact on Communities

The real success stories lie within the communities themselves – women, youth, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and smallholder farmers who now look toward a future filled with possibility. Their narratives of triumph and resilience are the true measures of our program’s success.

Acknowledgment of Stakeholders

This journey wouldn’t have been possible without the support and vision of USAID and the collaboration with Mercy Corps Nigeria (MCN). Together, alongside Save the Children International (SCI) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), we’ve woven a network of solidarity and support that underpins every milestone achieved.

Calls to Action

The journey does not end here. DDI continues to forge ahead, consolidating the gains of the RRA project. We are actively forming new farmer associations and facilitating critical linkages to markets, financial institutions,  financial services, technical support, and other critical services, ensuring the sustainability of our collective impact. We call upon like-minded organizations and individuals to join us. There is much more to be done, and your involvement can make a significant difference. To learn more about DDI’s work or to contribute to our initiatives, please CLICK HERE. Together, we are not just planting seeds for a season; we are cultivating the landscape of hope for generations to come.