This paper will develop a method for assessing policy coherence in the agricultural sector, with specific focus on Nigeria?s fertilizer and food security policies. In this paper, policy coherence refers to the integration of goals within and across institutions, agencies and administrations as well as the integration of the instruments/tools, actors, and dialogues that together help form and implement policies and policy agendas. Policy coherence, as described here, contributes to progress; a lack of policy coherence contributes to wideranging policies that often demonstrate inconsistencies which undermine the integrity of the goals of each policy agenda (Duraiappah and Bhardwaj 2007). More specifically, this paper will assess the key dimensions of collaborative programs, human resource capacity, the use of research and evidence to inform policy decisions, gender mainstreaming, and environmental sustainability. Then it outlines the evolution of agricultural policies in Nigeria from 1960 to the present. We then provide an overview of the literature on the links between research and policy with an emphasis on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) framework in Nigeria and develop a conceptual framework of the agricultural policy process with emphasis on the key dimensions of knowledge, capacity, information, and communication. Next we describe the methodology for assessing policy coherence in Nigeria?s fertilizer and food security to gauge whether policies are evidence-based, provide collaborative links across agencies, strengthen human resource capacities, and incorporate gender and environment sustainability issues. The findings about the degree of policy coherence are subsequently presented, followed by a roadmap toward a strategy for an improved policy environment. The final section presents the key conclusions from the analysis and makes recommendations for supporting the design and implementation of evidence-based agricultural and rural development policies and strategies in Nigeria.
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