By Omolola Pedro
The Federal Government, in a bid to improve mechanised agriculture and boost food security, has unveiled the Agricultural Tractorisation Programme and distribution of tractors to farmers in Kaduna State, FarmingFarmersFarms reports.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, flagged off the distribution exercise under the FG’s Agricultural Tractorisation Programme in the state.
Abubakar said being the key sector driving the economy, agriculture needs to be reinvigorated through tractor acquisition to achieve food security.
According to him, the tractors would lead to improved quantity and quality of food per person as well as reduce low productivity on the part of farmers in the country.
“Increasing productivity through tractorisation is fundamental to food security as we have seen in countries like China. Farmers are expected to make 40 per cent down payment while the balance of 60 per cent will be spread over a period of three years.”
He reiterated the government’s commitment to providing the dividends of democracy by creating an enabling environment for citizens.
Also present at the event was the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Alwan Hassan, who said farmers relied on manual labour, hence, could not contribute to increased food production levels in the country.
He further revealed that the programme had been designed to enhance farmers’ access to tractors and implements, to encourage mechanised agriculture in the country.
“Tractors will be released to the Manage Service Providers on loans, while farmers can access them under a hiring scheme, to increase productivity, stabilise prices, and improve food security in the country,” he stated.
Reacting to the development, the chairman of the Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, Iliyasu Muazu, commended the gesture, adding that it would assist farmers, who cannot afford tractors.
He solicited for more support for the Manage Service Providers to ensure that farmers benefit from the programme across the 774 local government areas of the country.