Making Fertiliser Markets Work for the Poor in Nigeria

A PrOpCom Case Study

From 2008–2011 PrOpCom facilitated interventions aimed at improving the commercial marketing and distribution of fertiliser to the poor in Nigeria. When PrOpCom first contemplated whether or not to intervene in the fertiliser market, industry experts cautioned against it, warning that fertiliser in Nigeria is a politically arrested system with little or no private market potential. However, PrOpCom worked with two large fertiliser companies to change the status quo.

By providing advice on how to target a previously underserved market segment and redesign the product to meet that segment’s needs, PrOpCom helped these companies set up ‘last mile’ distribution networks and training to reach the poor, and more importantly, to value the poor as a relevant customer base.

PrOpCom is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to facilitate functionality and efficiency of Nigerian commodity and service markets in such a way as to assure these markets benefit the poor. The programme is mandated by DFID to employ the market development (M4P) approach, which has allowed programme staff the conceptual and operational space to design and implement pro-poor interventions that embed change in local systems, and are crucially owned and led by the market players themselves.

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