With the drastic reduction in oil revenue and COVID-19 induced economic downturn, the Federal Government has entered an agricultural equipment partnership with Brazil that will ultimately earn the country an estimated €995 million revenue.
The partnership is coming under the in-kind facility for agricultural mechanisation to develop agricultural mechanisation, recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and designed to help Nigeria attain food security, create jobs creation and diversify the economy from oil.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari who spoke with a business intelligence magazine, The Commerce Africa, explained that the agricultural machines will come from Brazil.
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The machinery and equipment supplied by the Brazilian manufacturers will come in Semi-Knocked-Down (SKD) and Completely Knocked Down (CKD) components to be assembled by Nigerian based local assembly plants in each geopolitical zone.
“The machines will set the basic foundation across 632 Local Government Areas (LGAs) for proper agricultural service” by being leased out to the farmers “for fee operations by privately managed service centres in a competitive manner.
“Services ranging from land preparation to harvest and storage will be provided timely and on-demand to all farmers in a move to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers that don’t need to own tractors and implements.”
He noted that “over 142 agro-processing factories will be situated across all senatorial districts to create aggregation, intermediary and final processing of the increased farm outputs on the back of the 632 primary production supporting service centres in the respective LGAs.”
According to him, “this design logic is meant to prioritise tackling of the primary issues of post-harvest losses commonly suffered by smallholder farmers and also, to domesticate efficient supply chain operations where factories or aggregation hubs are closer to sources of raw material as well as strengthen quality and standards control for the out-grower scheme.”
On job creation, training and technical skill transfer, Kwasari, explained that “this programme has five years funded capacity development for all stakeholders.
He noted that the programme is “tailor-made to cater to the needs of private operators of the service centres, farmers, extension workers, regulatory and research institutions among others.”
Kwasari added that “36 months from this approval, Nigeria will be food secured for the various plant and livestock-related commodities identified to be supported by the programme across the states.”