The urgent need to address the myriads of challenges bedevilling the agribusiness sector has led to a deep collaboration between the Nigerian Incentive-based System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the National Agency For Science And Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), that seeks to provide end-to-end solutions aimed at fixing breakages along the agricultural value chain.
The partnership will boost capacity building and job creation opportunities for approximately 10,000 direct jobs, 100,000 indirect jobs and over 1 million jobs multiplied across the entire agricultural value chain.
Speaking after a meeting with NASENI management, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Abdulhameed Aliyu noted that the partnership will go a long way in maximizing the agricultural potential of the country, thereby contributing to the achievement of food security, inclusive economic growth, diversification, and employment generation.
Aliyu added that many of the technologies developed for agriculture have inherent challenges which culminate in the inability to commercialize and sustain them.
“These challenges stem from issues such as: The problem with the technology itself has to do with the nature of the technology, its operations and maintenance requirements; the focus on research and development in agriculture rather than research for innovation; a huge reliance on importation of technologies both in manufacturing, maintenance and availability of replacement spare parts; lack of finance for the uptake of available technologies by potential users/agribusinesses”.
The NIRSAL boss added that the ongoing collaboration between NIRSAL Plc and NASENI empties into a Comprehensive Tractor Recovery Scheme and the NIRSAL Climate-Smart Modular Geo-Cooperative-Based Irrigation System for Smallholder Farmers.
“The technological capacity of NASENI in the area of solar modules production, therefore, forms a critical backbone in the provision of off-grid energy to power modular irrigation and agro-processing clusters that are domiciled within NIRSAL Agro Geo-Cooperative clusters.
“To support this partnership, NIRSAL Plc will provide up to 75% Credit Risk Guarantee to banks and investors for the scale-up phase of the program after the NCIS proof of concept phase has demonstrated technical and economic viability. We will also provide Project Monitoring and Remediation Services to NASENI for the schemes and projects arising from this collaboration.
“Provide technical assistance, capacity building and advisory services to NASENI and relevant stakeholders for the programme.
Facilitate capital market opportunities across the Agricultural Mechanization Value Chain to support the scale-up and commercialization phase of the programme”, he added.
Responding, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof Mohammed Sani Haruna disclosed that both agencies have been working together informally through a partnership with Machine Equipment Corporation of Africa (MECA) which has led to the successful implementation of the National Tractor Refurbishing and Recovery Programme.
He added that the partnership will provide end to end solutions aimed at fixing the agricultural mechanization value chain in Nigeria; enhance accessibility, affordability, reliability and sustainability of the utilization of Agricultural machinery and equipment with the introduction of modern irrigation methods across the agricultural value chain in Nigeria and create a commercially viable platform involving various stakeholders anchored on Public Private Partnerships across the agricultural mechanization value chain in Nigeria.