Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Extension & Advisory Services (2020-2025). Connexus is working with Winrock International and USAID to implement the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Extension & Advisory Services (AEAS) Activity, a five-year project that leverages the power of Nigerian entrepreneurship to facilitate learning, replication, and scale around alternative models of extension to increase access and adoption of agricultural technologies for at least two million smallholder producers in Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger states. Using “Lean Farm” principles and tools to develop a deep understanding of the existing production systems and to identify the most promising opportunities to improve efficiency and increase return on investment for farmers, AEAS leverages small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as change agents around on-farm opportunities in the cowpea, maize, soybean, rice, and aquaculture value chains. Connexus works with micro, small, and medium enterprises (including farmers) to connect them with financial institutions (FIs) and design, pilot, and scale suitable financial products, including bundled financing packages for smallholder farmers, especially women and youth. To date, Connexus has interviewed 10 FIs and 25 private sector firms and integrated the findings into the Mapping to Markets and Lean Analysis. Recently, Connexus designed and delivered training of trainers on Creative Approaches to Smallholder Finance to more than 40 representatives from partner institutions and is now working with them to design and implement actions plans. Over the life of the project, Connexus will help facilitate $60M in agriculture-related financing linked with improved agricultural extension and advisory services.

Client: Winrock International; 2020 – 2025