Expert extols NIRSAL on farm-to-market scheme
Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), has been commended for its historic launch of the Farm to Market Scheme.
Under the scheme, cattle, vegetables and perishables foods are to be transported by rail.
Commending NIRSAL on the initiative, foremost Nigerian agricultural scientist, Dr. Ayok Celestine, said the scheme, if realised, would help to revolutionise the agricultural sector in the country.
Dr. Celestine, who consults for the Department for International Development (DFID), and Kaduna State Government, described rail transport as an indispensable “umbilical cord” for enhancing and improving agricultural production and business in Nigeria.
According to him, transporting livestock by rail is the best way to transport livestock in good and humane conditions without compromising the meat quality and the economic value of the animals.
“Transporting cattle by rail will mean that farmers will produce more, increase their profit margins, make more money because rail transport drives volume, reduces landing costs and is a win-win for the farmer,” he added.
Recall that the Managing Director/Chief Executive of (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed, last week, announced the commencement of an innovative scheme, which would allow the movement of cattle from the north to markets in the south by rail.
The ‘Farm to Market’ initiative, which is to commence this week, is expected to boost job creation and reduce the cost of cattle and some food staples in the market.
The scheme is projected to reduce the cost of transporting agricultural produce by over 20 per cent, minimise wastage and spoilage of goods in transit by over 40 per cent.
It is also expected to douse the frequent tension among herdsmen and farmers, who clash on regular basis over destruction of farmlands by the herds.