Propcom Mai-karfi and its partners (First City Monument Bank and Springfield Agro) have successfully launched tractor acquisition loans to 27 members of Tractor Owners and Hiring Facilities Association in Nigeria (TOHFAN). The loans and tractors were disbursed at an event held on May 24, 2014 at Zaria, Kaduna state. Alhaji Danladi, the president of TOHFAN said of the loans “if you look at the initial cost of a tractor and the members benefitting from this programme, you cannot find two people who can afford to buy this tractor. This loan helps us to acquire new tractors and provide services to farmers who previously find it scarce to access tractors. It benefits the tractor owner and benefits the farmer”.
Access to mechanization is essential to the development of the agricultural sector, yet remains a constraint to small-scale farmers in Nigeria. The UK aid-funded Propcom Mai-karfi project works with financial institutions like First City Monument Bank to provide tractor acquisition financing to tractor owners associations. These associations acquire tractors at agreeable interest and loan recovery rates, and provide tractor services to farmers for a fee. Initiatives like the tractor loans are examples of private sector-driven innovations required to propel agriculture in Nigeria. Bridging gaps in the sector will lead to improved rural incomes and increased national food production.
Propcom Mai-karfi is an innovative, market-driven programme funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) that aims to reduce poverty in Nigeria. The programme works with the private sector, businesses and government to enable rural markets work better for the poor. Working in selected agricultural market systems, the programme’s goal is ‘increased incomes for the poor through enhanced employment opportunities in Northern Nigeria’.