Local entrepreneurs in Nigeria make remarkable advances in agricultural mechanization.
The agricultural industry in Nigeria is still very labor intensive due to a severe lack of any type of mechanization. This is ensuring that the challenge of turning a profit remains high, in fact it is actually getting harder and harder as weather patterns remain difficult to predict and labor costs continue to rise.
Timothy Addigi Terfa, a Nigerian engineer who trained in the United Kingdom has for a long time both personally witnessed and been frustrated by these challenges faced by Nigerian farmers. In response he is about to launch a tractor which has been both 100% designed and built in Nigeria.
This makes him the first person to launch a tractor that is both designed and built locally, making him worthy of a huge amount of praise.
The tractor was named Ijodo by Terfa, meaning “labor” in the Tiv language, is a multi-purpose tractor. It is expected that it will not only help farmers resolve a number of the issues they have as a result of the lack of mechanization but also benefit rural development. It is hoped that Ijodo will be able to reduce both the burden and challenge of farming, making turning a profit far more achievable.
Terfa, who is hugely keen to inspire others said “I designed and built this tractor, which is 100% Nigerian, with a team of skilled individuals.” “My greatest desire is that someone out there will be encouraged and motivated to do something with the ideas they have to make Nigeria better.”
A number of Ijodo tractors have already been sold however Terfa is hoping to significantly increase production and as a result is currently looking for further investment. He is hoping that in the near future he will be able to sell his tractor across the whole of Africa, dramatically increasing the level of mechanization across the continent and in turn making a real difference to a huge number of people.
This is not the only recent innovation to be seen in Africa this year, a research team from Makerere University’s Agricultural Research Institute in Uganda has recently revealed the prototype of a new multi-purpose tractor called MV Mulimi. It is designed to be able to be used for much more than just the usual transportation of crops and ploughing, and as a result just like Ijodo is expected to hugely benefit farmers across the whole African continent.