Zowasel, a commodity marketplace, has signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria, Honda Manufacturing Nigeria, and Standage Corporation to facilitate access to agricultural machinery for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
The MoU was made known at the 2022 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held recently in Tunisia.
The partnership serves as part of efforts to increase agricultural productivity, improve the timeliness of operations, cut down on manual labor, and improve living standards for small farmers in Nigeria.
“The partnership offers an opportunity to Mitsubishi and other Japanese corporations to team up with agricultural technology startups like Zowasel to facilitate access to affordable agricultural machinery for smallholder farmers in Nigeria,” said Makoto Sato, managing director of Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria.
“Through a sustainable platform like Zowasel, we can directly impact farmers by reducing manual labor and increasing their income and quality of life,” Sato said.
Mitsubishi would coordinate and facilitate the entire partnership, while Honda would provide Honda-made agricultural machinery with technical and maintenance support.
Also, Standage will manage the sourcing and importation of Japanese-used machinery for the project and establish an ecosystem for Japanese-used farm machinery in Nigeria.
On its part, Zowasel will be responsible for implementing and executing the machinery rental services through its remote Crop Centre infrastructures in Nigeria. Zowasel will also provide good agricultural practices (GAP) training and ultimately create market access through its Marketplace platform.
Mitsubishi partnered with Zowasel in early January 2022 and provided agricultural machinery such as harvesters, tractors, planters, and tillers to run a proof of concept of the mechanization rental services in Nigeria.
Nigeria has one of the lowest numbers of tractors per farmer globally. Most farmers are smallholders with low incomes and cannot afford to purchase agricultural machinery or access rental services.
The partnership offers an opportunity to improve productivity significantly in food security and the quality of life of smallholder farmers across Nigeria.