Rail transport: Cattle train arrives Lagos from Zamfara
The fifteen (15) wagons carrying about 500 cows which left Gusau, Zamfara State on Thursday have arrived Oko-Oba, Lagos this afternoon (Saturday).
The arrival was some hours ahead of schedule.
Reacting to the development, the Managing Director, Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) described it as a pleasant surprise and a good omen for the innovative project of moving cattle from the north to the south by rail.
'We are indeed happy to hear that the wagons have arrived ahead of schedule. We are very delighted that the historic train has arrived earlier than projected. It is a good omen and a further source of encouragement as we strive towards improving and deepening our Farm to Market Scheme'.
NIRSAL had two days ago in Gusau, Zamfara flagged off the commencement of its National Farm to Market Scheme which aims to provide low cost transport link between agricultural producers and consumers across the country with an initial focus on livestock movement from north to south by rail.
The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor of Zamfara, officials of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank as well as representatives of international development partners and international finance institutions. Also present were representatives of banks, other private sector players, livestock traders amongst others.
Under the scheme, NIRSAL, in line with its mandate to de-risk and incentivize investment into verified impactful projects across the agricultural value chain, will provide bank guarantees for the financing of critical requirements involved in the movement of the cattle including logistics and equipment.
Connect Rail Services Ltd, a bulk freight and logistics service provider is the first technical partner on this aspect of the Farm to Market scheme.