From Right, the Regional Director of Syngenta Agrochemicals, Dr Luzius Caviezel, the MD/CEO of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhammed with the Country Director of Syngenta during an MoU signing in Abuja on Thursday

Over one million farmers to get discounted seeds from NIRSAL/Syngenta deal

NEWS DIGEST – 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, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, said that the partnership with Syngenta would boost the agricultural production of the smallholder farmers.

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

He said that the technology, which included quality seeds and good agronomic practices, was capable of increasing farm yields by a minimum of 40 per cent minimum.

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

“This partnership between NIRSAL and Syngenta is designed to promote basic business management, end-to-end agronomy, crop protocols and safety, as well as effective use of crop protection products.

“This partnership is not only focused on making quality inputs available but will, more importantly, promote productivity, enhance technology and practices for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

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

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

Caviezel said that the company would provide competitive and discounted inputs to increase the farmers’ productivity and improve their livelihoods.

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

“We want to be a trusted partner; our focus is to support Nigeria’s food security.

“What we want is more income for farmers, and Nigeria leads on our priority list in Africa because of its large population, large economy and openness of the government to innovation and technology, which is the engine to improve agriculture.

“The input or product alone is not enough; there is the need for 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 and this is not expected. This is the solution we want to provide,’’ Caviezel added.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Syngenta is a biotechnology company, which was established in 2000 via the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals.

In 2014, Syngenta became the world’s largest agrochemicals producer. (NAN)