“Specialised Haulage Services: Logistic companies whose specialized vehicles are tailored to transport agricultural commodities around the country will offer this service.”
Uche Usim, Abuja
A fresh avenue to address the perennial haulage challenges for agriculture products in Nigeria is being been developed by the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
The agency, on Sunday, said it was finalising an innovative transportation system, which is currently undergoing a comprehensive and rigorous process of internal testing before its formal deployment.
Captured under Secured Agricultural Commodity Route (SACR), NIRSAL Managing Director, Abdulhammed Aliyu, said the innovation was a targeted, multi-pronged system anchored on a dedicated national transportation network whose objective is to achieve a significant reduction in the prices of agricultural commodities by curbing the astronomical losses that occur post-harvest.
The route, he said, will cut across the 11 states in the Lakaji corridor including Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Lagos and is expected to take three months to implement starting from August 2018.
“The SACR is built around four complementary components: Agro Runner: This “Uberized” system will enable farmers call and book for their produce to be picked up at the farm-gate and transported either to the designated aggregated zones or commodity markets.
“Secured Commodity Aggregation Zones: These areas will be designated for specified produce aggregation. There will be tax and regulatory checks on haulage vehicles that will operate in these zones.
“Specialised Haulage Services: Logistic companies whose specialized vehicles are tailored to transport agricultural commodities around the country will offer this service. Example, the Crating system that reduce wastage of fresh fruits and vegetables, live fish haulage tanks, etc.
“Dedicated Commodity Route: The route will be designated for commodity haulage and all security agents will be made aware of the movement of the specialized trucks so as to facilitate movement and timely delivery”, he said.
To improve the chances of success, the model, he added, will rely both on the functionality and adoption rate of these components as well as the synergy between the relevant stakeholders to ensure commodities move efficiently from production areas to commodity/consumer markets.
Also, central to the model is the partnership of critical actors and target beneficiaries such as Transport Unions (i.e. NURTW, NARTO), Agro Dealers, Produce Aggregators, Retailers, Smallholder Farmers, Logistic service providers, State and Local Governments, etc.
“To ensure timely and effective implementation, NIRSAL will seek to collaborate with the following MDAs and organisations: the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI), Federal Produce Inspectorate Services (FPIS), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Custom Services (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)”, he noted.
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Aliyu said NIRSAL will act as the fulcrum around which stakeholders will come together to fine-tune and adopt the SACR model towards achieving the goal of facilitating agri-business and positively impacting rural economies across Nigeria.