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IFAD, DFID partner to provide Niger rice farmers 3-wheel tractors

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Niger says it is collaborating with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK-DFID) to introduce a three-wheel tractor to rice farmers in the state.

Dr Mathew Ahmed, the State Programme Coordinator of IFAD, made this known on Friday on the sidelines of a demonstration exercise of the low-priced tractor to 175 rice farmers in Wushishi and Katcha areas.

``The aim of introducing this tractor to the rice farmers is to make them key into mechanised method of cultivating rice,’’ he said.

Ahmed said that the project would increase the small holder farmers’ access to mechanised services through the provision of the low capacity tractor known as power tiller or smart tractor.

Also speaking, Mrs Mercy Mayaki, the Intervention Manager of UK-DFID, said that the tractor and its implements cost N800, 000.

Mayaki also said that after sales service for the made- in-China tractor was available to ensure adequate maintenance.

``The parts of the tractors are available and affordable,’’ she said.

 

Earlier, Mr Lawal Mohammed, DFID Agricultural Production Officer in the state, said that the tractor would be subsidised for the rice farmers in cooperative groups at a ratio of 30 per cent to be paid by farmers and 70 per cent payment by IFAD.

Hajiya Hasana Mohammadu, the Chairman of a farmer’s cooperative group, commended IFAD and UK-DFID for the gesture, adding that the various groups would fulfil their part of the bargain.

NAN reports that IFAD is a UN agency established in 1977 as an international financial institution to eradicate poverty in developing countries.

The fund had financed nine programmes and projects in Nigeria since 1985 with a total loan commitment of over $232.2 million. (NAN)

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