In an effort geared towards boosting food sufficiency, an international development organisation, Heifer International, has announced an additional $3.5 million to fund its tractor financing initiative in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. The firm said the move was consistent with its primary goal of catalysing agricultural and economic development in Africa. The money aims to finance an additional 75 tractors across Africa to provide affordable access to tractor services to 872,250 smallholder farmers at an affordable rate so as to boost farm productivity, employment, food security and farmer livelihoods over the next 10 years.
The investment comes two weeks after the launch of Hello Tractor’s innovative Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Tractor financing for agri-entrepreneurs in Nigeria with $1 million USD from Heifer International, taking the organization’s investment in catalytic funding for tractor financing in Africa to $4.5 million. Briefing journalists at a media parley in Abuja, President and CEO of Heifer International, Mr Pierre Ferrari, said he was impressed at the enthusiasm shown by smallholder farmers, booking agents, tractor operators and tractor owners to transform the agricultural landscape in Nigeria and other African countries.
According to him, “Africa has the lowest number of tractors per farmer globally and as a result, yields per hectare are low. Smallholder farmers do not have access to tractors and that’s something we aim to change.