*ABDULHAMEED: PROJECT WILL BOOST ACCESS TO TRACTOR AND LAND CLEARING SERVICES AT AFFORDABLE RATES FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), along with its technical partner on agricultural mechanization –
Machines and Equipment Corporation Africa (MECA) have signed an agreement with the World Bank’s FADAMA III-AF programme for the management of its Agricultural Infrastructure.
Accordingly, FADAMA III-AF has entrusted its Agricultural Infrastructure, which includes mechanization equipment, irrigation systems, and storage facilities in the hands of NIRSAL and MECA, through their joint mechanization program- the NIRSAL Comprehensive Agricultural Mechanization Program (NCAMP).
NCAMP is a holistic Mechanization Program designed to address the low agricultural mechanization rate as a critical intervention for the achievement of food security, job creation and economic diversification of Nigeria.
NCAMP comprises of 6 unique modules which includes the Recovery, Repairs, Maintenance of Heavy Duty Agricultural Land and Infrastructure Development Equipment (RE-MAIN),the Agricultural Equipment Repair, Maintenance & Management Service Scheme (AEMS), the Sub-National Government Tractor Acquisition Programme (SNAP), the Vendor Financing & Lot Sharing Scheme(VFLoS), the NIRSAL-MECA Agricultural Mechanization Management Contract Scheme and the Technical and Vocational Training Scheme for tractor/agricultural equipment mechanics, technicians and operators.
Of the 6 components, FADAMA has chosen the Agricultural Equipment Repairs, Maintenance and Management Service Scheme (AEMS) to ensure the sustainability of its mechanization infrastructure. The AEMS provides commercial operation and management service based on a fee-for-service model. Under this arrangement, mechanization equipment is also operated on a “rehabilitate/maintain, Operate and Transfer” (ROT) Business model.
The partnership is part of initiatives targeted at achieving sustainability and continuity of FADAMA III projects and infrastructure as the World Bank project approaches its official closing date of December 2019.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL Plc, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed appreciated FADAMA’s recognition of NIRSAL as a trustworthy and capable partner that would continue with the developmental activities FADAMA has embarked on in Nigeria.
According to Abdulhameed; “As FADAMA has done, so too will NIRSAL continue to support the growth and expansion of the Agricultural Value Chain as its mandate requires. At NIRSAL, we recognize that when it comes to Agriculture, there is an opportunity to positively impact millions of livelihoods. What you have witnessed here today is another example of how we are utilising these opportunities to better the lives of smallholder farmers across the nation.”
Abdulhameed assured farmers under the FADAMA Federated Community Associations (FFCAs) that NIRSAL would continue to support them even beyond the provision of mechanization services. “NIRSAL was created to facilitate finance to all value chain actors, yourselves included. With the winding down of FADAMA, you can rest assured that NIRSAL will deploy its resources to ensure continuity in the support, development, and growth of your agricultural activities.”
Speaking on NCAMP, Abdulhameed informed attendees that the program is an all-encompassing, commercially driven scheme designed to significantly contribute to the Agricultural mechanization value chain through increased access to tractor and land clearing services at affordable rates for smallholder farmers and, in line with the Buhari Administration’s drive, to enhance National Food Security.
“The N-CAMP is commercially driven and built upon a set of unique components which focus on providing affordable financing for the acquisition of new tractors, heavy-duty land development and mechanization equipment, and the repair, refurbishment, maintenance and management of broken-down tractors, heavy duty machines and equipment. These equipment will be deployed and made available to farmers on a fee-for-service basis.”
Abdulhameed concluded by calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria – which wholly owns NIRSAL, to continue its critical interventions in Agribusiness sector, and for the World Bank to keep supporting agricultural programs in Nigeria as they have done with FADAMA III-AF which has been in existence for over two decades.
As part of NIRSAL’s quest to expand the tractor density in the country and increase access to farm tractors for smallholder farmers, it may be recalled that NIRSAL conducted an assessment exercise of the successful pilot phase of N-CAMP at the Scientific Equipment Development Institute, Minna, Niger State earlier in the month.
In addition to numerous state governments who have already signed up for the program, financial Institutions present at the event acknowledged the success of the N-CAMP’s proof of concept and expressed their desire to provide financing for the program.
Beyond N-CAMP, NIRSAL’s optimized operating system embeds end-to-end mechanization in all of its activities with smallholder farmers nationwide; an example of which was the introduction of 851 smallholder farmers in Ogun State to mechanized farming also earlier this month. =End=
Anne IHUGBA Head, Corporate Communications