At this week’s UK-Nigeria weekly meeting John Dada gave us the latest news about the Fast Tractor that had arrived the previous week.
John explained that the Tractor team had held its weekly meeting and went on to say:
“ The demand for tractor service in this month is low due to high level of rainfall. The farm roads are sodden, very wet and will be made worse if tractor attempts going in at this time. So we are waiting for rains to reduce and harvests to start. Moving harvests from farms into homes and markets will be the next major service...we are accepting bookings from folks who will need the tractor.”
John had hoped that the tractor would arrive at Fantsuam before the worst of the rain came. He commented:
“ The crisis in Kaduna and the red tapes of the Agric Ministry slowed us down
Unfortunately, nature and farm work do not know about these human foibles and wahala: cropping and farm operations must be performed as and when due. It’s still better and safer to have taken delivery of the tractor: if we had missed this opportunity, goodness knows when it will come our way again.”
“ Land preparation: tilling, harrowing and ridging are done in April/ May
The rains came in good time and so far, have arrived in usual quantities. The early rains caused the usual havoc: roofs blown, old mud houses collapsing, but no lives lost
The political violence disrupted farm work in June (Bombings and curfews)
Tractor hiring will be done in clusters of farms for easy coordination and cost sharing by neighbouring farms. In very large clusters, tractor may stay in the area for up to 4 days working full time daily.
Crops expected will be grains: millet, guinea corn, maize, maize, cassava.
Booking will be mostly word of mouth, one farmer coming on behalf of several to indicate their need. But we expect the usual "as the need arises" bookings.”
Also discussed was the Dadamac outpost at Ago-Are and the latest visa application in preparation for the Recycling Plastic Pilot Project.