Abuja, May 20, 2019 (NAN) World Bank/FADAMA III Additional Financing and the Machine and Equipment Corporation Africa (MECA) have signed a three year service agreement to maintain and refurbish 10,000 tractors across the country.
Signing the agreement in Abuja on Monday, Mr Iliya Gashinbaki, the Group Country Director of MECA, said the project would be supported by the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
Gashinbaki said that the refurbishment and maintenance of the 10,000 tractors would cost N30 billion.
According to him, we have over 55,000 broken-down serviceable tractors in Nigeria and another 130,000 that we will recycle and scrap.
He said that MECA would also partner with the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and the Tractors Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) to make the services available to farmers.
“NIRSAL and MECA are partners. We are the lead technical partners of agricultural mechanisation of NIRSAL and currently we are working under the NIRSAL Comprehensive Agricultural Mechanisation Programme.
“If you have to get 55,000 tractors today, you will spend not less than N606 billion to get them to work.
“Under the first phase of this project, 10,000 tractors will be refurnished and we have done the pilot and successfully refurnished about 50 tractors and now we are going to scale to phase-one which is about 10,000.
“The 10,000 tractors under the approved framework going to cost us just N30 billion compare that with the quantum that we are losing because these tractors are idle and they are there not working.
“This will automatically increase food production because production will increase because currently, mechanisation service is just about one per cent.
“We have 10 per cent animal power and 89 per cent human labour. There is no way as a country that we will be able to address this without solving mechanisation issues,’’ he said.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, said the partnership was an endorsement of NIRSAL’s Comprehensive Agricultural Mechanisation Programme (N-CAMP) as the sustainability model for the mechanisation component of the FADAMA III programme.
Abdulhameed said that NIRSAL would deploy its resources to ensure continuity in the support, development and growth of agricultural activities under the FADAMA Programme.
He said that the NIRSAL-MECA agricultural mechanisation management contract scheme was designed for the management, maintenance and commercial operations of the agricultural land and infrastructural development equipment based on a fee-for-service model.
“NIRSAL is guaranteeing up to 75 per cent of the front end value of every investment or financing under the scheme and for any successful outing where financing is done, we are ready to support with interest drawback.
“At 10,000 tractors per annum for the first phase, we will have to continue working with that for the next 15 years.
“ It requires consistent supply chain of parts, training mechanics and operators.
“In this FADAMA-MECA-NIRSAL programme, the immediate target is 300,000 FADAMA registered farmers,’’ he said.
Mr Tayo Adewunmi, the National Project Coordinator of FADAMA III, said that the project would be implemented through the Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA).
Adewunmi said that the partnership would help the association to sustain the investment and successes recorded by FADAMA in 33 states at its winding down by December.
Dr Mohammed Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the partnership would help to provide affordable mechanisation services and linkages between service operators.
Bello, represented by Dr Maimuna Habib, the Director of Projects Coordinating Unit in the ministry, said that the project would help to boost food production across the country.