World Bank’s FADAMA III-AF programme has partnered with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc, along with its technical partner on agricultural mechanisation-Machines and Equipment Corporation Africa (MECA), to ensure the management of its agricultural infrastructure.
The FADAMA III-AF Programme has now entrusted its agricultural infrastructure, including mechanisation equipment, irrigation systems, and storage facilities in care of NIRSAL and MECA.
The joint mechanisation programme by the parties involved is referred to as the NIRSAL Comprehensive Agricultural Mechanization Programme (NCAMP).
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, who spoke at the signing ceremony said the collaboration project will boost access to tractor and land clearing services at affordable rates for smallholder farmers as well as guarantee food security for the country.
Abdulhameed said the initiative will also help conserve foreign exchange, as hundreds of the moribund and serviceable contractors spread across the country will be refurbished and out to use instead of acquiring new ones.
He noted that NCAMP presents a holistic mechanisation initiative designed to address the low agricultural mechanisation rate as a critical intervention for the achievement of food security, job creation and economic diversification of the country.
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.
Abdulhameed commended FADAMA’s recognition of NIRSAL as a trustworthy and capable partner that would continue with the developmental activities which the former had undertaken in the country.
He said “at NIRSAL, we recognise 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”.
The National Project Coordinator of Fadama III AF, Mr. Taiwo Adewunmi said the 19 Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHE) centers had been established in 14 states of the federation and equipped with 56 tractors under the Agriculture Promotion Policy (Green Alternative).
Adewunmi said among other things, the centers had been able to mobilise, organised, registered and supported over 263,795 farmers in 3, 675 production clusters which is made up of 25,610 production groups.