LINKS – Catalysing economic growth in Northern Nigeria

Nigeria’s long-standing reliance on oil exports has left little room for other economic sectors to develop and thrive. As a result, much of the country’s population – the fastest-growing in the world – is living in poverty and in need of an efficient economy that has the potential to employ more people and create better incomes and opportunities for all.

Funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the LINKS – Catalysing Economic Growth programme aims to support the development of a vibrant and diverse economy in Northern Nigeria by increasing incomes and creating jobs in the states of Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa.

Since we started delivering this seven-year, £67.5 million programme in 2019, our Tetra Tech International Development team has been focusing on promoting and facilitating investment and supporting innovations in the private sector that will make Nigeria’s economy more competitive, productive and inclusive.

Supporting resilience to climate change

We have initiated to work on climate-smart agriculture in LINKS focus areas with support from the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In 2021, we launched two new pilot programmes to support Nigeria’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement:

The LINKS team launched a training scheme to help rice farmers adopt the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technique, a holistic approach to rice cultivation that enables them to grow food more cost-effectively and with less water. We are engaging with research partners to gather data on greenhouse gas emissions as well as the quality of the soil, produce and yield to measure and maximise the impact of the technique’s application.

We have supported the initial development of a data platform for Regenerative Agriculture (RegenAg), an advanced agricultural model that helps mitigate the effects of climate change and keep arable soil across Northern Nigeria. The platform connects and informs over 10,000 organic sesame, groundnut and hibiscus flower producers about increasing yields and incomes. Required for carbon project certification, the platform is key for farmers to get access to large-scale finance from carbon credit markets in the long term.

Nigeria

2019-2026

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK

Results

In 2020, LINKS has successfully increased the incomes of over 21,300 people and created more than 1,000 jobs despite the profound economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Building on this achievement, we will continue to promote investment and improve access to finance for businesses. This will fuel the region’s recovery and create sustainable long-term growth – now and beyond the pandemic.

We helped businesses and entrepreneurs in North Nigeria improve their performance through value-chain innovations to a value of over £16.4 million, almost half of which was attributed to small-holder farmers.


“Thanks to LINKS, we are now equipped with a rice hub, a rice mill – we even have twenty field coordinators we didn’t have before. But the most important thing that happened when we started working with LINKS was that we gained better insights and the ability to help farmers.”
Muhammad Ahmad Amadu, CEO of Green Sahel Agro Ventures and Merchandise