The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has released N3.6 Billion as an intervention scheme towards financing the establishment of the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise meant to encourage poor level of Nigeria agricultural mechanization.
The project will be implemented in phases.
During the first phase, the following farm machinery will be made available
– 400 units of tractors
– 500 power tillers, and
– Various harvest and post-harvest equipment
All these equipment’s will be available at 80 farm equipment centres that will be set up.
Phase II will be similar to phase 1 as the aim is to achieve similar results while during Phase III , 250 tractors will be acquired through a well-articulated partnership programme.
This was disclosed recently by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, at a one day Interactive Session on Mechanisation Intervention Programme’ recently.
The session had commercial banks’ executives, Bank of Industry, Tractors Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria, Vendors, Manufacturers’ representatives, farmers’ associations, and others in attendance.
The gathering was reliably informed that the government will not be involved in the implementation of the mechanization policy as it had set in motion a policy framework called, ‘The Private Sector Driven Agricultural Mechanization Framework’.
Furthermore, the government has vowed that the mechanization sector will be industrialized and will be private sector driven. Hopefully, this should attract investors that will partner with credible private companies.
The result should be similar to what now obtains now in the Fertilizer sub-sector where the government succeeded in eliminating corruption through Growth Enhancement Support.
The minister informed that the Growth Enhancement Support, GES, has been expanded beyond seeds and fertilizers, to provide mechanization subsidy to assist Nigerian farmers access mechanization services from the equipment centres scattered across the country, where they will receive their mechanization support as electronic vouchers on their mobile phones.
According to him for 2014 farming season, N1billon has been approved for GES on Mechanization. Farmers will only pay 50 per cent of the cost of off-taking services from the centres while the Mechanization GES will cover the other 50 per cent balance.
The government plans to aggressively privatize the commercialization of agricultural machinery in Agriculture and the Private sector must play would play a lead role in its sustainability.
The New Mechanization Policy is a Public Private Partnership, PPP, involving Government, Financial Institutions, Agro-Machinery Vendors/Manufacturers’ Representative, Service Provider Operators (SPOs).
The short term projection of the scheme through the partnership is to make available a minimum of 6,000 units of tractors and power tillers each and also about 13,000 units of various harvest and post-harvest equipment to set up a minimum of 1,200 Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise, AEHE, to render Mechanization Support Services to our farmers.
We at Belvyna Global believe this is a right step in the right direction in order to achieve food availability and food security.