As part of measures at reducing post-harvest losses in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri has solicited for the use of tricycles to ease the means of transportation for smallholder farmers across the country, saying it would aid the movement of food and agro-allied products, increase production, and generate wealth for farmers. He stated that Nigeria’s agricultural sector had huge potentials to drive the economy in line with the diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Shehuri said, “The market is massive across the value chain and it will enable us achieve food sufficiency and export agricultural products”.
The minister, during a courtesy visit to him by members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Bulk Stalker Nigeria Limited, and Sounghor Motors, South Korea, noted that the use of tricycles by smallholder farmers in communities across the country would boost transportation and ensure that food and agro-allied products arrive markets on time and increase the income of smallholder farmers. Shehuri urged AFAN and its partners to ensure that the tricycles being produced match the specifications of smallholder farmers. “There is no point bringing in tricycles without input by the end users. Please, smallholder farmers must have inputs for the initiative to achieve its objectives and goals”, he added.
The minister tasked the association to also ensure there was synergy between the federal, state and local governments when it comes to carrying out their programmes for “There should be robust collaboration among the three tiers of government and AFAN because all the relevant stakeholders must streamline policies and programmes to achieve food and nutrition, security, and boost the economy”. The President of AFAN, Alhaji Mudi revealed that “The association, with its partner, Buck Staker Nigeria Limited, will provide 500,000 units of tricycles, which will create direct or indirect employment for over two million members of AFAN by empowering youths and farmers to reduce stress and cost of transportation and in turn, reduce the cost of food items, and that our partner will establish assembly plants across the geopolitical zones, which this will create employment opportunities for our teeming youths’’.