Between 2016 – 2017 SDN engaged with locals to design and implement long-lasting solutions to the artisanal oil industry. Alternative livelihoods were the number one priority – so SDN worked with former artisanal oil industry workers to identify and trial appropriate options between 2017 – 2020.
Rice farming proved to be hugely successful in the creeks of Bayelsa State – and after three cultivation cycles, the farmers achieved an average yield almost three times the national average. This was done by 12 former artisanal oil workers, with no experience farming rice before.
The results demonstrate what is possible for the government if it focuses on supporting the local economy and employment generation, instead of using the military. It also highlights commercially viable opportunities for the private sector to invest, and dispels the stigma that the Niger Delta is too insecure for business.
Farming and processing continues at a small scale, and is gradually spreading. The farmers are ready to be engaged by market actors who can partner or invest in this exciting, commercially viable opportunity, and SDN is available to support this. Find out more about the artisanal oil industry.
Find out more about SDN’s other livelihood projects.