October 4, 2017

FADAMA partners NIRSAL to boost farmers’ productivity, income

The FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) programme says it is collaborating with Nigeria Incentive Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to increase the farmers’ income.

The FADAMA National Coordinator, Mr Tayo Adewumi, said this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Adewumi said that NIRSAL assessed FADAMA activities and became convinced that the programme had a structure that would facilitate the fulfilment of its mandate as to improving the production and income of farmers.

“We will continue to pass the message across to different states and see how we will continue to work together.

“African Development Bank (AfDB) is already knocking on our door and we are waiting for them; our door is open at any point in time for any organisation that is ready to improve on what we have done for our farmers to make them remain in business.

“Whenever such organisations come to us for interaction, we will show them what we have done before and let them know that both the off-takers and agro-dealers have never disappointed us,’’ he said.

Adewumi said that the Federated FADAMA Community Association (FFCA) was established to facilitate the farmers’ efforts to sustain their gains from the FADAMA project and be able to stand on their own thereafter.

“The associations are always on ground in some states and there is another sustainability plan we are putting in place.

“This involves the private sector agencies that are supporting us to drive the process and they are representatives of different economic interest groups that form the FFCA.

“Some states are doing well in terms of agricultural mechanisation and for those states that are just coming up under our Agriculture Equipment Hiring Enterprise (AEHE), they need to work harder to be independent,’’ he said.

The national coordinator stressed that states that were still planning to sign up for AEHE should be aware that agricultural mechanisation was very essential.

He said that the number of tractors acquired for AEHE might be small but the scheme was a form of intervention which, if well-managed, would have a lasting impact on agricultural production.

However, Adewumi advised farmers to always monitor their harvests, saying that they ought to prepare and document reports on their specific harvests.

“You cannot do assumptions in a spontaneous way; all our intervention sites carry out geo-referencing.

“We are going to produce maps at end of the day; anybody that comes to us will know the particular areas in which we had made interventions.

“We, however, need to improve on our inputs voucher; we need to really improve on our public-private partnerships as well.

“We promise to continue to work hard and support our poor farmers; we actually want to put smiles on their faces,’’ he said.