AEHE – Bridging Smallholder Farmer’s Mechanization Gap
Effective mechanism of providing mechanization services to small holder farmers have been a thing of concern over the pass decades due to their small farm holdings of average of one hectare their poor resource base that prevent them from being able to own a tractor/farm machinery of their own, the availability of stones and storms in their farms which clearly limits their access to mechanization services yet the small holder constitute about 80% of our farmers and they are the producer of over 70% of our local food production and therefore needs to be mechanized.
Government huge investment in mechanized equipment and pubic sector service provision has not yielded the desired result, as government is responsible for 100% cost of such farm machineries and the equipment either disappears from the system or are poorly maintained and often are broken down and completely grounded.
The Nigerian agricultural mechanization equipment leasing company (namel) in an effort to provide sustainable solutions to the problems of mechanizing small holder famers, namel through a PPP arrangement with the federal ministry of agriculture is implementing an agricultural equipment hiring enterprise model.
AEHE is an enterprise model equipped with tractors, implement, planters, harvesters threshers and are located in a demand driven areas providing mechanization services to the small holders farmers for a fee. The AEHE usually adopt a pay/service or a pay/day model that enables farmers to choose their preferable service model.
Organized farmers group/ cooperatives, individual investors are qualified to off take the AEHE with just 20% equity deposit while the balance of 80% loan on the equipment are spread over the period of 6 years as single digit interest rate.
The namel PPP arrangement with government also optimizes government budgetary provision by converting as 35% while namel is responsible for syndicating 65% from private sector partners including the off taker 20%, this give room for more mechanized equipment to be provided.
The AEHE model guarantees farmers access to assessable, affordable and sustainable mechanized services at their doorstep.