Usman Ali Lawan

Food Security | Nigeria

2019 New Voices Fellow

usman lawan

Growing up in the rural town of Kura in northern Nigeria, Usman says he was painfully aware of the difficulties that subsistence farmers, like his grandfather, faced. “The agricultural value chain is marred by post-harvest losses, lack of access to quality farm-input, poor extension services, and almost zero access to finance”. He left rural Nigeria in search of “greener pastures” and found himself working in the oil and gas sector in the commercial capital of Nigeria, Lagos, until 2010 when he lost his job. This personal experience with failure led him to think about the plight of the Nigerian farmers, and from then on, he decided to reinvent the farming industry in Nigeria. Usman founded USAIFA Agro-Allied, a farm focused on practicing and promoting zero waste agriculture. He is currently working on “Farmer In Suit,” a program which seeks to reinvigorate the aging farming population by re-branding farming and using personal examples to show how one can create wealth and earn a decent living through agribusiness. Further, by matching rural farmers with small investors, Usman hopes to involve more people in food production and increase both agricultural and business development skills across the country.