I saw recently that ActionAid have published a review of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) – better known, to us at least, as the GES Programme. Regular readers will be aware that Consult Hyperion have been very active in this programme, operating the TAP programme for delivery of agricultural input subsidies in support of GES in Nigeria’s FCT and Sokoto states (more details here).
ActionAid’s study didn’t address Sokoto state, where we registered around 400,000 farmers in 12 weeks, but it did review the GES programme for FCT. There was an awful lot of really useful information in the report, which is of great interest to anyone with an involvement in agricultural development in emerging markets.
But from our point of view, the highlight was definitely the last page – the recommendations. And there it was, in black and white (well, dark brown and green – this was a agri report after all), Recommendation 6: “Scale up TAP to other states of the federation.” Couldn’t agree more.
There were other recommendations, too, that we firmly agree with and which embody many of the strengths of TAP. Such as Recommendation 3: “Improve on delivery time by improving on settlements with agro-dealers”. And some which are reflected in other work we’ve been doing on agricultural value chains in Nigeria and Uganda, such as Recommendation 10: “Conduct a separate study on smallholder farmers accessibility to agricultural credit.”
I could go on, but I’ll limit myself to saying it’s a great study report, and one we wholeheartedly agree with. And the timing is perfect, since we’re about to launch the TeMS service, which extends TAP to support e-money. TeMS supplements TAP’s e-vouchers with e-money for Cash Based Transfers (CBTs), giving government and development agencies more options, whilst preserving TAP’s inherent security and reliability.