Like many other developing countries, Nigeria faces serious poverty challenges and it is estimated that two-thirds of Nigerians now live below the poverty line of US$1 per day, most of them in rural areas. Recognizing this challenge, the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified investments in agriculture and rural development as a major priority. In the past few years, various rural development strategies have been formulated that offer a promising strategic direction to achieve poverty reduction, food security, and accelerated economic development. Yet, despite the articulation of these strategies and the commitment of the government and donors to the broader framework of pro-poor rural development, the agricultural sector remains hampered by a poor service delivery accentuated by a weak policy environment and a disconnect between the research and policy communities. Despite recognition of the important role of research in policy decisionmaking, research input into the policy process in Nigeria is rather limited.
Recognizing these challenges, the Agricultural Policy Support Facility (APSF) was designed to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (FMAWR) to design and implement high-quality evidence-based agricultural policies, by addressing the fundamental knowledge, capacity, and communication problems faced by the Government of Nigeria.
To better understand the policymaking process in Nigeria, APSF undertook a case study on the policy process of drafting, passing, and implementing the fertilizer policy. Key stakeholders that participated in the policy drafting process, both from the government and non-government institutions, were interviewed individually and the findings drawn from the interviews were presented and discussed at the consultation meeting entitled “Understanding Policy Processes in Nigeria with Net-Map: The Case of the National Fertilizer Policy,” which was held on March 19, 2009 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The general objective of the workshop was to analyze the process by which good research-based ideas are transformed into policy and practice to more effectively impact the process.