Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German-based Riela Projects GNA Limited to boost commercial agriculture with advanced agricultural technologies that will reduce the N2.7 trillion annual post-harvest losses.
This move, according to NIRSAL, is also in line with its focus on sustainable value chain-driven solutions for agriculture.
Speaking in Abuja at the MoU signing ceremony, the Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, stated that the collaboration with Riela was designed to improve access to modern agricultural equipment, boost transfer of knowledge on best agricultural practices and will contribute significantly to deepening agricultural mechanisation in the country, while building local technical capacity.
Expatiating on the deal, Abdulhammed said Riela is to supply post-harvest processing machines, equipment and services to the Nigerian farmers and agro-producers within the context of an agreed investment framework with NIRSAL and other stakeholders.
“The German company will also provide comprehensive after sales service to ensure proper maintenance and functioning of the equipment. This includes a 12-hour-back-to-work repair system and service support within the proximity of farmers and agro-producers in locations across the country.
“NIRSAL, on its part, will facilitate financing required for the project from financial institutions under its Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) scheme.
Some of the agricultural equipment and solutions targeted for this intervention include thrashers, aspirators, stationary and mobile dryers, belt conveyor systems, steel silos, storage equipment, cooling devices, milling and mixing plants for feed production. Other areas of support are to include storage solutions and processing capacity to add value and increase farmer earnings. Riela will design and manufacture them specifically for the Nigerian environment.
“NIRSAL and Riela have also agreed to cooperate in the technical areas of project scoping, design, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for projects and project maintenance/management.”
Abdulhammed described the occasion as the formalisation of a journey that started several months ago.
“It is a testimonial to the commitment of NIRSAL to its mandate to facilitate agribusiness in the country and Riela’s faith in NIRSAL as a credible business partner.
It is also a credit to the transparency of our financing and operational framework for implementing the partnership as it is to the conducive investment environment that the Buhari administration has created in the agriculture sector.”