NIGERIA – As the Federal Government of Nigeria plans to embark its agricultural mechanisation initiative in the next three months, the government of Turkey is planning to invest US$15m in the country’s agricultural sector to further the initiative.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, explained that the mechanisation policy would involve a full technology package transfer to cover all stages from agricultural production to industrial processing, packaging and marketing.

“The programme will be private sector-driven and government will only create a conducive environment and offer assistance where necessary,” he stated.

The programme will have service centres across the country, 140 processing stations and would enhance production, create jobs and grow the nation’s Internally Generated Revenue.

The US$15m would be invested in areas such as mobile solar system, mechanisation, skill training, food supply security, agricultural infrastructure and rural development within two years of commencement of the collaboration.

This investment is an addition to the US$1billion loan from Deutsche Bank (DB), Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and Islamic Development Bank that the Federal government will be obtaining to promote mechanization of farming in the country.

The fund will be utilized to purchase 10,000 units of tractors, 50,000 units of assorted implements and equipment for assembly in Nigeria.

In addition to that it will be utilized for training of the small holder farmers for over a period of 10 years and establishment of 780 service centres to aid them.

The Islamic Cooperation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank and the Brazilian Guarantee and Fund Management Agency (ABGF) will provide insurance for the non-honouring of sovereign financial obligation.

The insurance will cover the total amount provided by the BNDES and other financial institutions. The ProEx Brazil programme credit line could provide interest rate equalisation for total financing that comes from BNDES.