A Maize farm [Photo: HapaKenya]

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One million smallholder farmers to get discounted seeds, cropping technology – NIRSAL

By Agency Report

April 12, 2018

Over one million smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme will benefit from seeds and cropping technology deal between Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Syngenta Agrochemical Company.

Syngenta is a global agribusiness company that produces agrochemicals and seeds.

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja on Thursday, Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, said the partnership with Syngenta, would engender increased production for smallholder farmers.

Mr Abdulhammed said the partnership would grant farmers including women and youth, access to quality discounted inputs, modern technology, and training on best use of farm inputs to achieve high yields.

The managing director explained that the technology which included seeds and good agronomic practices was capable of increasing farm yields by 40 per cent minimum.

According to him, our farmers need simple and reliable ways to maximise their yields.

‘‘This partnership between NIRSAL and Syngenta is designed to ensure basic business management, end- to-end agronomy, crops protocols and safe and effective use of crop protection products.

‘‘This partnership is not only focused on making quality inputs available but will more importantly provide productivity, enhancing technology and practices for small holder farmers in Nigeria.

‘‘Farmers under the CBN’s ABP as well as primary production activities will enjoy these yields enhancing technology through our Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Offices across 36 states plus FCT,’’ he said.

Luzius Caviezel, the Regional Director, Africa of Syngenta, said the company was a leading agribusiness firm which was investing resources to keep up technology on eight crops which included maize, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and vegetables.

Mr Caviezel said the company would bring competitive and discounted inputs to increase farmers’ agricultural productivity and improve their livelihoods.

He stated that the company would work toward improving farmers’ productivity by 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

‘‘We want to be a trusted partner. Our focus is to support food security.

‘‘What we want is more income for farmers and Nigeria leads on our priority list in Africa.

“This is because it has a large population, large economy and openness of the government to innovation, technology and this is the engine to improve agriculture.

‘‘The input or product alone is not enough, there is the follow up, how you use the products, and how you manage crops, this is very important and it can make a large difference.

‘‘If this product is not properly used, the poor farmer would have wasted money which is not expected. This is the solution we want to provide,’’ the regional director explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Syngenta is a biotechnology company, formed in 2000 by the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals.

Syngenta in 2014 became the world’s largest crop chemical producer, strongest in Europe. (NAN)