In an effort to boost agricultural mechanization and ensure food security, a non-governmental organization, Syngneta Foundation Nigeria, has facilitated the process of helping farmers to access machinery through reputable companies. – Hello Tractors in partnership with Heifer International.
The tractors were recently handed over to farmers at an event organized by Hello Tractors in conjunction with Heifer International at Efugo Farm, Kuje Abuja.
The theme of the event was financing tractors to increase agricultural productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers.
This gesture by the Foundation comes at a time when access to mechanization is essential to accelerate the country’s agricultural productivity.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Syngenta Foundation Country Director Isaiah Gabriel said the tractor fundraising midwifery undertaken by the foundation was in line with the organization’s mandate to improve access from small farmers to machines.
“The Syngneta Foundation has a responsibility to improve the lives of smallholder farmers, through productivity and access to finance. Also, if you look at our mission statement, we have different strands – Agric service, Seed2Seed and insurance.
“In the Agric service component, we have a component called mechanization, which improves small farmers’ access to machinery. It is based on this element that the foundation contacted Hello Tractors to see how our Hub managers will have access to the tractors,” said Isaiah.
He added: “We have made the link and the connection, while the Hub Managers, who are the beneficiaries, become the super booking agent who goes down the machine to the other smallholders. Two of our hub managers are the beneficiaries and we are confident that they will use the machine for the benefit of society. »
Isaiah further said that a pilot study on tractor linkages was done in 2020 by the foundation.
“The study revealed that the appetite of smallholder farmers is very high in terms of mechanization. The use of crude instruments in the modern era is becoming obsolete due to the quest for food to cure the hunger that is ravaging the African continent. The availability of tractors to plow acres of land is a divine step in the right direction.
Speaking about the challenges, Isaiah cited poor equipment as the reason Hello Tractors contacted financial institutions who gave the tractors to farmers as a soft loan repayable within three to five years.
Also speaking, the head of SFN-Agric-Service, Timothy Azakere, hinted that the foundation was an indirect guarantor in the ties, as it was the organization that led the entire process leading to the selection of the officers. from the hub.
“We are indirect guarantors, in the sense that we are the ones who put the hub managers in contact with Hello Tractors.”
Commenting on the trust placed in the selected beneficiaries, he said that the hub managers who benefited from the program had worked with the Syngneta Foundation for some time now, therefore, “they are reliable, credible and trustworthy”.
He assured that more hub managers will be connected in the upcoming September edition.
The highlight of the event was the signing of a 20-page agreement document by the beneficiaries titled: Lease-to-Purchase Agreement.
The agreement stated that the recipients “would have to pay a monthly rental fee to Hello Tractors along with any other applicable payments.” He further revealed that the tractors will come with a one-year maintenance contract offered by the manufacturer.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Roseline Omoroka, from Abuja, praised the foundation for facilitating the tractor concessional loan financing scheme.
She said: “I learned about Hello Tractor through the Syngenta Foundation, which involved me in their greenhouse program and activities.
She appreciated the foundation for the great help and assistance, promising not to betray SYN’s trust in her.
Also taking the floor, another beneficiary, Mrs. Latifat Ajegbe, from Kano, said; “I want to say a big thank you to the Syngneta Foundation for a job well done. I am the happiest woman on earth. It is my dream, to acquire a tractor. The dream has come true thanks to the Syngenta Foundation. They were a great help to us, especially in Kano. They really touch the lives of small farmers.
Earlier, the Country Manager of Hello Tractor, Nneka Enwonwu said Pay As You Go (PAYG) tractor financing is an innovation to support smallholder mechanization, food security and rural entrepreneurship in the country.
She noted that through technology, the company has connected tractor owners to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa “through a farm equipment sharing app that bridges the gap between traditional farming and more technological advances”.
She further urged farmers not to cut corners but rather to make good use of tractors.
In his goodwill message, Heifer International representatives, Olaranwaju Oniyitan, explained that the tractor financing model was an innovation to support smallholder mechanization, food security and rural entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
He therefore called on the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity to get out of poverty by taking advantage of the program to earn a living.