The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Riela Projects GNA Limited, to leverage advanced agricultural technologies from Germany to boost commercial agriculture in the country.
The partnership with Riela, a leading German agricultural processing and technology company, is meant to tackle one of the most serious problems confronting Nigerian agriculture: the high percentage of post-harvest losses which value, according to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), is about N2.7 trillion annually.
This is to be achieved through a business-driven service provision and support framework that will provide farmers at the primary level of production cost effective access to modern farming technologies and machinery.
The support scheme will also include provision of relevant training on best agronomy practices as well as technical assistance to help them get good yields from their efforts.
Under the terms of the partnership, Riela is to supply post-harvest processing machines, equipment, and services to 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 supplied equipment.
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 include storage solutions and processing capacity to add value and increase farmer earnings. Riela will design and manufacture the equipment specifically for the Nigerian environment.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu A. Abdulhameed, said there is no way our farmers will remain in business if nearly 70 percent of their yield is wasted as post-harvest loss.
In his remarks, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck, stressed that the German government was supporting the partnership between NIRSAL and Riela because of its confidence in the overall direction of government’s agric policy as reflected in the APP and ERGP.
He commended the policy alignment and policy stance of the Buhari administration and the efforts of NIRSAL as a credible partner and enabler under the leadership of the CBN. He described the prospects of the Nigerian agriculture sector as very promising given the innovativeness and energy of NIRSAL.