It is a common Knowledge that farmers throughout developing countries and Nigeria in particular remain trapped in poverty, despite the billions of dollars in aid spent each year over the past five decades to improve agricultural production and raise standards of living.
This is due, in large part, to the disorganized and often antiquated agricultural value chains that persist across emerging markets. As a result, the individual farmer is often left without access to the information and inputs that are critical to improving their livelihoods. Without the right knowledge, labour, and equipment, farmers struggle to properly cultivate their land and plant on time, leading to underproduction and lost income.
It is on this note that Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in August, 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) With Hello Tractors in Kano, Nigeria, to enable smallholders farmers to have access to mechanization.
The deal which was sealed by Isaiah Gabriel, Project Coordinator, SFSA-Nigeria and Aissa Mazou of Hello Tractors afford the farmers the opportunity to leverage on the MoU and have easy access to tractors to boost production.
The partnership between SFSA-Nigeria and Hello Tractors was done under the belief that smallholder farmers are the key to ensuring global food security and alleviating entrenched poverty. This strategic partnership will add considerable value in the marketplace by helping to address the critical needs of farmers that need tractor services.
SFSA which is a reputable leading agriculture organisation helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources is committed to see that small scale farmers in Nigeria key in to mechanization as the world heads towards food sufficiency.
To kick start this laudable project, Hello Tractors in collaboration with SFSA embarked on awareness campaign and communication activity on access to farm mechanisation in two communities in Kano State ( Wasai and Yanshado). The tour covered a circumference of 25km within the targeted communities. Farmers were enthusiastic about the project as it will give them the platform to have access to tractors.
The community head and chiefs who welcomed the laudable project commended SFSA for their timely intervention. They expressed bitterly how farmers within the community suffer while trying to have access to tractors for their farms. Highlighting the challenges, they listed unfulfilled promises on the part of tractor owners to deploy their machines, over charging of tractors operators, among others. At the end of the campaign and demonstration, flyers and jackets among others were distributed to farmers.
It is an undisputable fact that agricultural revolution would not have happened without the tractor. A modern tractor is used for ploughing, harrowing and ridging, in addition to landscape maintenance and clearing bushes. It is a machine, and does not go on strike. Hence the need for smallholders farmers to have access to this machine with little cost becomes a challenge which SFSA want to tackle as the foundation enters into partnership with Hello Tractor.
SFSA remains a not-for-profit organization that focuses on supporting the productivity of small-scale farmers in developing countries around the world. The mission is to create value for resource-poor small farmers in developing countries through innovation in sustainable agriculture and the activation of value chains.
The operational strategy focuses on smallholders, productivity, and markets. The aim is to help small farmers become more professional growers.
The Syngenta Foundation does this by extending science-based know-how, facilitating access to quality inputs, and linking smallholders to markets in profitable ways. This adds value for rural communities, and sustainably improves food security. With the right kinds of agricultural technologies such as tractors smallholders could increase their production significantly and sustainably.
Written by Isaiah Gabriel, a trained Plant Breeder, Practising Agronomist and Project Coordinator, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Nigeria , West-Africa.