The Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) is leading a diverse and high-level group of local and international experts to dismantle obstacles preventing the seeds and grains value chain from achieving full investment viability.
To achieve the objective, the Corporation on Monday hosted a stakeholder’s round-table discussion on seed and grain processing technology for Nigeria at its headquarters in Abuja.
Among the participants at the event were top officials of PETKUS GmBH, a German and world-leading post-harvest management company with a 166-year history in the manufacturing of custom-made post-harvest solutions across the world; the Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and the President, Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN).
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhammed
said the focus of the strategic session was on the key challenges limiting the financial viability of the cereal and legume value chains in Nigeria which occur at the seed input and grain output stages.
According to him, NIRSAL seeks permanent solutions to the protracted challenge of trained farmers recording low viability and germination rates, low or average productivity and up to 30 per cent post-harvest losses, despite using certified hybrid seeds.
He said the negative factors contribute significantly to Nigeria’s annual US$9billion worth of post-harvest losses which, in turn, have led to lower capacity to service the consumer, industrial and export grain markets, lower returns to the farmer, inability to fulfill financial obligations or repay loans, sustained poverty and impoverishment.
He reiterated that NIRSAL’s core mandate of is making agriculture attractive to the financial sector by tackling various inherent challenges in a way that significantly reduces the current aversion of financial institutions to lend to this important value chain.
He said: “Besides signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petkus, NIRSAL has performed background assessments and field reality checks on the Petkus solutions through observations not only in Germany but also in Burkina Faso, an African nation where Petkus solutions have been piloted with 1,000 smallholder Seed farmers in one (1) district with current scale up to 13 geographical districts.
“Petkus, in a similar manner, gained insights to the workings of the local Nigerian primary production systems testing the quality and viability of sample certified seeds and witnessing the huge post-harvest losses and absence of basic value addition technologies in Jigawa, Kano and Taraba States.”
“The expertise of the German firm includes high precision seed processing equipment and technology solutions to address issues of poor separation of dead, broken and non-viable seeds and issues of heterogeneous seed sizes which pose significant problems for mechanized planting. This solution has potentials to bring about significant yield increase for smallholder farmers from 2 tons/ha to 3-5 tons/ha and as well open up local Seed companies to the international seed market.
“Another is high precision grain cleaning to capture the best value, eliminating moisture content, aflatoxin contamination, and other infestation at the point of harvest. This value addition at smallholder level guarantees better prices and access to industrial and export markets for farmers (such as in the case of Sesame).
“In the bigger picture, NIRSAL is also looking to leverage technologies from Germany to tackle primary production and harvest, primary processing, primary transportation and primary storage challenges, which we call the PH-P3. These will no doubt deal the final blow to post-harvest and value addition challenges in Nigeria”, he explained.