By Oludele Taiwo
The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Farouk Mudi, has said that transportation of farm produce from the farm to market and storage facilities, has been one of the major challenges facing Nigerian farmers. He said the high cost of moving farm produce invariably increases the cost of production, thereby causing high cost of produce in the markets.
He stated this while speaking at the launch of the AFAN customised tricycle, which was made possible through the collaborative efforts of AFAN leadership, FarinCiki Nigeria Limited, and the Sanguo Motors of South Korea, the manufacturers. “I am a farmer, I know the kind of suffering that farmers are having in terms of transporting their inputs to the farm and produce back from the farm, to the market, and warehouses”, he revealed. He added that transportation takes a lot of money in the cost of production and that once the cost of transportation is cut off, the farmers and consumers would feel it.
“The cost that will be cut will also reduce the cost of food in the market; so definitely, it will not only affect the economy of the farmers, but it will affect the economy of everyone”, he said. The Chief Executive Officer, FarinCiki Nigeria, Alhaji Ibrahim Idimi, said the benefit of the tricycle is the ability of farmers to move their products easily from their farms to the markets and storage facilities. He said during their research, they found out that the major challenge farmers face was transportation of their products, so they introduced the innovation to address the challenge. “We tried to look out for the challenges the farmers face and every time the redline was always on the transportation, which was why we created this vehicle, to meet the needs of farmers. We worked in collaboration with AFAN, we came up with a template where we will fund and bring the vehicle, distribute it to farmers and we will spread a payment plan of five years for them, through micro-financing.
“So, whatever the farmer does per week, he puts a little of that into the account until five years’ time when he is able to purchase the vehicle”, Idimi noted. The Chief Executive Officer of Sanguo Motors Korea, Yong Bok Shin, said the tricycle was built for Nigerian roads, adding that it took years of research with the management of FarinCiki Nigeria Limited to achieve the feat. He assured that adequate provisions had been made for after sales services to ensure that the users take maximum advantage and get value for money. However, the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who unveiled the vehicles for farmers, said the feat was a commendable milestone for the company and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The minister said such a project had the potential to boost both the capacity for local assembly of tricycles as well as strengthen food security and farming through micro financing. “This is a commendable milestone for the company and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, it is of even more importance to us at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as it is an achievement that touches various aspects of our mandate. As you may be aware, one of the core mandates of the ministry is to build an industrial base for Nigeria and we have identified the automotive industry as one of the priority sectors for enabling industrial growth. It is, therefore, clear that a project such as this, which has the potential to boost both the capacity for local assembly of tricycles as well as strengthen food security and farming through micro financing, is one that is highly welcomed”.