VAELL LAUNCHES NON-CASH AGRICULTURAL LEASE SCHEME TO BOOST FARMERS’ ACCESS TO TRACTORS
Regional market leader, Vehicle and Equipment Leasing Limited (VAELL) is set to launch an innovative tractor lease solution, dubbed Tinga, which is the first of its kind not only in Kenya but within the region. The VAELL lease solution is designed to extend a helping hand to small scale farmers’ access to tractor services. The current market for tractors in E. Africa is dominated by the central and county governments, whose efforts to meet farmers’ demand for tractor services have not been successful. VAELL has committed US$ 10Million (Kes. 1 billion) toward agricultural mechanization over the next 5 years. However they have also received investors willing to invest over US$ 1 Billion across the Africa network. These investors are contributing equipment, fertilizers and seed in a bid to see Africa feed the world. Africa currently imports over US$ 60B of food, while a small country such as Netherlands is one of the world’s top exporters of food. VAELL has been testing the product over the past two years with great success. One of their combine harvesters is set to be at the Galana Israeli-Kenya partnership scheme in which President Kenyatta is due to launch this month. Some of the investors include Athi River Mining Limited which is one of Kenya’s first blenders of fertilizer. VAELL and Athi River Mining (ARM) have today signed an agreement in which ARM will receive over US$ 10M worth of equipment and trucks in exchange for cement and fertilizer VAELL targets to avail 1,000 tractors to farmers and operators in various parts of the country. It also plans to launch the scheme simultaneously in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania where they have a commanding presence. VAELL is inviting various tractor owners to join its pool of tractors. VAELL already has established partners from South Africa, Brazil and India to participate in the project. Tata Kenya has so far contributed over 25 John Deere tractors. Speaking while receiving US$2M contribution toward the scheme from OikoCredit, a Netherlands Based financial organization, Mr. Paul Njeru, VAELL Regional MD said, “African countries have this one chance to get agriculture right. There may not be another time in future when the need is so desperate. Under the VAELL scheme, farmers and countries do not have to give up their land for a pittance, they only have to avail it, and share in the proceeds. In the long run, we believe that Tinga Lease Solution will truly transform the living standards of the farmers as well as develop the African economy. VAELL is also implementing QuipBank’s exchange program across East Africa. Africa needs high-quality machinery and appropriate technology to suit all types of farming operation in the country. Deploying the appropriate equipment to farms will have a direct impact on yields and the area under cultivation can be substantially increased through mechanization. Needless to say, the cost of such equipment is quite high and many farmers cannot afford to purchase the machinery in cash. It is on this background that VAELL has developed a new lease solution to make farm mechanization a reality for African farmers.