The Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing system said it would begin the implementation of a partnership with the Machine and Equipment Consortium Africa, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure that would see the addition of fresh N1.4tn to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, while speaking in Abuja during the unveiling of the initiative, said NIRSAL would be committing about 75 per cent of its balance sheet to guarantee mechanisation of agricultural value chain in Nigeria.Under the new scheme, he said NIRSAL would provide 75 per cent guarantee to the sum of N120bn required to finance and service 10,000 tractors annually.
Abdulhameed, who described the project as one that would move the nation’s agricultural sector from the 19th to the 21st century, said it represented a giant leap for the mechanisation of agricultural value chain in Nigeria.
He said NIRSAL would be implementing the project in partnership with the Machine and Equipment Consortium Africa and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
He said the goal was to trigger an agricultural industrialisation process through increased production and processing of the greater part of what was produced to boost economic earnings across the value chain.
According to him, the project is born out of NIRSAL’s concern that there are just approximately 6.5 tractors for every 100 square kilometres of arable land in Nigeria as against the global average of 200 tractors for every 100 square kilometres.
He said most of the tractors, which had gone bad, were not being repaired despite the country’s huge need for mechanised farming.
Quoting available statistics, he said Nigeria needed a minimum of 10,000 tractors each year for the next ten years for any visible impact to be made in primary production in agriculture.
He said that the practice of allowing the tractors to go into a state of disrepair within six months to 12 months after purchase would do grave harm to the government’s efforts to develop agriculture.
He said, “If Nigeria requires 10,000 tractors every year for the next ten years in order to meet the global average of 200 tractors for every 100 square kilometres, it means that each of those tractors doing an average of three hectares per day for 120 days, we will end up doing 3.6 million hectares.
“And this, at an average yield of four tonnes of hectares of grain will result in about 1.2 million metric tonnes of grain, with at an average price of 100,000 per metric tonnes of grain will result in over N1tn equivalent that we will add to this economy.”