By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja.
The Country CEO/ Country Manger, Dizengoff Nigeria, Antti Ritvonen has said the Company has partnered CASE International to provide world class farming equipment to Nigeria for the use of both private, public and large scale commercial farmers.
Speaking with Journalist in Abuja at the launch of Case IH, he said “Case is a world’s leading tractor and it its time that this leading product comes to Nigeria at a time when we are moving forward in the Nigerian agriculture, it is good timing and I think we are going to make great contribution to the development of Agriculture in Nigeria”
The CEO assured that “While they intend to look into designing products that can be easily accessible to smallholder and rural farmers what we have been doing all this time is trying to find a solution for different size of farmers and suitable solutions for mechanisation when it comes to smallholder farmers”
He said “One of the solutions for smaller farmers is tractor service companies were people can buy services for their farms and when they do not need it, they are not carried with the expense and when there is no need there is no cost added. That is one way to help small farm to go forward in mechanisation and that is why we are partnering with and different types of organisations to help with this kind of service
Stating that Dizengoff had been in Nigeria for 59 years,the CEO said Dizengoff is a member of the Balton CP Group UK, with presence in 8 countries including Nigeria
Reacting to the fact that Nigeria already has 46 different varieties of tractors in the country, he said “I would say that Case is one of the leading tractors in the world so there is room for them and also Dizengoff has no tendency of coming and going with the product so the Case tractor will stay in Nigeria till the future. He added that “We are here for the very long time mindset”
On Nigeria’s level of mechanisation, the CEO said “We are taking baby steps but there is lot of potentials. There is a very huge potential in Nigeria agriculture”
Also speaking Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu said he believes that the best kept secret of the huge opportunities in agriculture are in Nigeria
He however said” there was a need for transition to bring younger people who are not attracted to agriculture because of what they had seen their parent’s forebear in the past. There is a need to induce them through proper mentoring.
Noting that the government cannot change the situation alone, he urged Dizengoff to support in encouraging the youths to delve in Agriculture by developing products that the Nigerian youth can access and also expand the markets by floating new commerce into the agric. sector.
“It is not just about selling, the more hands we have in agriculture, the better for all” he added
Vice President of the Nigeria Agro Business Group (NABG), Emmanuel Ijewere said “Nigeria is not encouraging charlatans to go into the business of agriculture or spare parts, noting that the country is getting into a new phase and cannot afford to get it wrong as time is of essence”
“He said we are hoping to go to the National Assembly for legislation on importation of agricultural equipment, noting currently 46 different types of tractors are in Nigeria, but Nigeria should not be made a dumping ground for all kinds of products”
In his recommendations, he urged Dizengoff to broker peace between the farmers and bankers to strengthen the success of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme, as a means to strengthening Nigeria agriculture. Except medium and small scale farmers strengthened Nigerian agriculture will not go anywhere he said
He assured that the Company had the full support of the NABG and have promised to work with farmers both small and large.