A pioneering partnership between Agriprojects Concept International, National Veterinary Research Institute and a network of village-based vaccinators is making poultry vaccines available and affordable for poor rural people in northern Nigeria. Read the full success story
Dr Sannusi Abdulahhi of Kiyawa in Jigawa state Nigeria talks about his new business supplying vaccines to village agents. He wants to defeat Newcastle disease which kills millions of village poultry every year. The ducks, chickens and wildfowl are owned by poor women and men who rely on them for life. Click and listen to the story – http://audioboo.fm/boos/960353-sanah-veterinary-enterprise-english
Alhaji Bashir Maccido, a Notore fertiliser distribution partner in Sokoto state, northern Nigeria talks about his growth strategy. Click to listen to the story- http://audioboo.fm/boos/1106010-alh-bashir-maccido
The private sector tractors service business just received a boost in Nigeria, with Sterling Bank Plc. joining the league of banks supporting a wholly private sector-led tractor market. Sterling Bank, one of the leading Nigerian commercial banks launched its new ‘Tractors Finance Acquisition Scheme’ product with 10 brand new tractors handed over to tractor service providers (TSPs) at a presentation ceremony on Thursday, 20 September 2012 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, south-west Nigeria.
The new financing product is targeted at increasing private sector investments in the agricultural mechanisation process in Nigeria. The TSPs provide land preparation services to millions of resource poor farmers in Nigeria, helping to increase farm productivity through reduced drudgery usually experienced when manual labour is deployed on the farm.
Sterling Bank is collaborating with two tractor vendors – SCOA Trac, a division of SCOA Nigeria Plc and sole distributors of the New Holland brand of tractors; and Springfield Agro Ltd., distributors of Mahindra tractors. The Tractors Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN), a trade association which promotes private sector investment in tractor service provision facilitates the scheme, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (through its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund) will provide 75% cover for the first ₦1 million on each tractor. The cost of the tractor is ₦4.9 million while each TSP deposited ₦960,000, representing a 20% down payment. Loan tenor under this scheme is 24 months.
Mr Modupe Ayodele Odunlami, a tractor service provider who received a new tractor at the event expressed his joy, adding that this was a dream come true, as he is now confident of providing farmers with better services. “We are happy that Sterling Bank has rolled out this product, I am happy to be a beneficiary. The new tractors will impact on livelihoods and incomes of farmers in Ogun and Oyo States and it will equally create a competitive market environment for us tractor service providers. More tractors mean timely services for farmers.”
Mr Kayode Komolu, the National Public Relations Officer of TOOAN had this to say: “The new product by Sterling Bank is a signal that Nigerian banks are paying more attention towards supporting private sector agricultural mechanisation process. This will spur TOOAN to strengthen advocacy for other banks for their buy-in into private sector tractors lease finance model to increase food production and farmers’ income. TOOAN is happy for the new partnership with Sterling as the bank is replicating past successes recorded under the pilot phase with PrOpCom. We urge other banks to develop more tractors lease finance products as it holds a huge market and is indeed profitable. We want to assure farmers that they will get better and efficient services with more new tractors available to work in the farms.”
Ogun State was represented at the public presentation by the Programme Manager, Agricultural Development Programme, Mr. Kunle Onasanya. Top officials of Sterling Bank, two tractors supplier companies, members of TOOAN and farmers associations in Ogun and Oyo States also attended.
TOOAN is a partner of Propcom Mai-karfi, having collaborated in First Bank of Nigeria’s FirstTrac scheme in 2010. The association has also worked with an additional two banks, Ecobank Plc and Access Bank Plc., both of whom had also launched products for tractors lease. A total of 72 tractors have so far been presented to the TOOAN members through Propcom Mai-karfi facilitated tractors lease finance.
In Nigeria, the incidence of chickens dying from Newcastle Disease is estimated to be 90% and leads to huge losses in revenue, affecting the livelihood of a large number of poor livestock farmers, predominantly women. In a bid to change this story, Agriprojects Concept International Ltd, a private Nigerian company providing solutions for the livestock and poultry industry, collaborated with Propcom Mai-karfi, a UKAid funded programme in Nigeria, to train 150 village based vaccinators (VBVs) in Jigawa State. The training comes ahead of the Newcastle Disease season which usually occurs in October, and will help prevent chicken deaths by 50%.
The VBVs drawn from communities will provide local veterinary services to farmers holding 90,000 chickens in three local government areas, namely, Kiyawa, Sule Tankarkar and Mallam Madori of Jigawa State, Northern Nigeria. The initiative has a two pronged objective of supporting (i) the emergence of trained local skills to service the local chicken farmers, and (ii) new VBVs based businesses setting up near farmers. It also seeks to change the business model of local chicken farmers who are encouraged to see their work as a viable economic activity to improve their incomes and livelihoods.
The pilot training is a partnership involving the premier veterinary institution, the Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), which manufactures poultry vaccines locally. The objective of this initiative is to develop a model for collaboration between NVRI, Agriprojects Concept International Ltd and Propcom Mai-karfi to promote vaccination in local chickens using the NCD-I2 vaccine. This will require smallholders to change their attitude of not investing in local chickens by convincing them of the economic benefit of vaccination. It will also develop a pool of VBVs and support them in developing sustainable business relationship with farmers and distributors. For more information email: email@example.com.
Mr Amos Omotosho is a tractor service provider based in Ijale Ketu in Ogun State. Each farming season he provides land preparation services to over 200 farmers in communities in Yewa North local council, and other parts of the state, in south west Nigeria. For over 28 years, owning a brand new tractor remained a far-fetched dream, as it was impossible for him to buy one due to its high costs. “I bought my first tractor, a ‘second hand’ tractor – 20 years ago for ₦13,000 (£52) and repaired it with an additional ₦20,000 (£800) before I could use it for ploughing the farm”, disclosed Amos recently. For Amos and others in the business of tractor service provision to farmers for a fee, it was far-fetched dream to buy or own a brand new tractor, they were more used to buying ‘second hand’ tractors resold to them by public sector agencies.
Amos explained that it was a nightmare working with an old, ‘used’, second-hand tractor as it broke down more often and led to loss of revenue and down time. He was also unable to meet demands, and farmers were made to wait for weeks without tractor services. It meant more downtime and less productive time on farm. But all this changed when Amos was able to purchase a brand new Mahindra tractor through the First Bank Plc., an innovative product, FirstTrac tractor lease finance. “I was elated when I learnt about the tractor leasing scheme at our meeting in 2009. I made up my mind to participate because it was an opportunity to purchase a brand new tractor for first time in 20 years as a tractor operator.” Amos became a proud owner of a brand new tractor giving him more productive time to work on his clients’ farms and more income. The product allowed him a repayment period spread over 24 months.
The product offer worked in partnership with Springfield Agro Ltd, the Nigerian distributors of Mahindra tractors brand, the Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN), a business membership organisation and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) providing guarantee. Propcom Mai-karfi, a UKAid funded programme in Nigeria, facilitated the relationship between the partners in a bid to support a private sector led tractor market in Nigeria.
For the 10% equity contribution of ₦745,000 (£3,000) to qualify for the loan, Amos raised money by selling-off his ‘second hand’ old-used tractor, with additional funds from savings from the sale of maize and cassava from his farm. “I thought this was an opportunity to invest in a new tractor business, because it comes with greater dividends. I was convinced that a new tractor was a good investment and repayment was possible with discipline and commitment. I knew I would repay my loans”, says Amos. He works as a tractor mechanic and farmer in addition to a tractor operator to augment his income.
Amos was motivated by two factors to pay off his loan: (i) the desire to assume full ownership of the tractor, and (ii) his desire to see other tractor operators access the loans. “I was determined to repay my loan because I wanted to become the real owner of the tractor, and see others benefit from the leasing scheme if I am able repay my loan on schedule. I am happy that I am now a proud owner of a brand new tractor. It has enabled me to provider more efficient services to farmers I work with. There is a difference with owning a brand new tractor; it is not comparable with ‘second hand’ that frequently breaks down and stalls work.”
Moving from being the owner of a used tractor to a brand new tractor has changed the Amos’ business model; he can now provide more services to more people than ever before. “I am able to provide better service to more farmers as result of my brand new tractor. For instance in one hour, I am able to plough 1 hectare of farm land. It is better now than with an old tractor.”