The Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says it is developing a transportation system to address bottlenecks in the movement of agricultural produce from farms to markets.
A statement by Ms Anne Ihugba, NIRSAL’s Head, Corporate Communications, in Abuja on Sunday, said the system known as the Secured Agricultural Commodity Route (SACR), was targeted at significantly reducing the prices of agricultural commodities.
Ihugba said the aim was also to curb the astronomical losses that occured during post-harvest across the country.
She noted that SACR would be built around four complementary components of agro-runners, secured commodity aggregation zones, specialised haulage services and dedicated commodity routes.
According to her, the components will enable farmers call and book for their produce to be picked up at the farm-gate and transported either to the designated aggregated zones or commodity markets.
Ihugba said that logistics companies whose specialised vehicles were tailored to transport agricultural commodities around the country would offer the service and security agents would be informed of the movement of the specialised trucks to facilitate movement and timely delivery.
She explained that SACR routes would include Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Lagos States, among others.
Ihugba said that NIRSAL would partner with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to implement the transportation system.
She said that the organisation would also collaborate with agro dealers, produce aggregators, retailers, smallholder farmers, logistic service providers, state and local governments to facilitate the success of the system.
“SACR model is geared towards facilitating agri-business and positively impacting rural economies across Nigeria.
“NIRSAL will seek to collaborate with the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Others are the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI), Federal Produce Inspectorate Services (FPIS) and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
“The model is currently undergoing a comprehensive and rigorous process of internal testing before its formal deployment and is expected to take three months to implement starting from August 2018,’’ she explained.