FG Acquires 10,000 Tractors To Promote Mechanised Agriculture
The Federal Government is to acquire about 10,000 tractors as part of its policy to promote mechanised agriculture in the country, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has announced.
Ogbeh stated on Thursday that the government had entered into an agreement with John Deere Tractor manufacturers to acquire the equipment through a Public Private Partnership with the firm.
The minister disclosed this during his meeting with the management of John Deere\\NAMEL International at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
He said the programme would span five years, adding that it would assist smallholder farmers to have access to tractors through the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise, while service providers would manage the tractors and hire them out to farmers at subsidised rates.
Ogbeh stated that the programme was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, and it included the purchase of tractors, combined harvesters for grains, sugar cane and special training of the operators.
The minister told his guests that Nigeria needed tractors with life span of about 15 years, so as to get value for money, and urged John Deere Tractors to work towards single digit interest rate in order to assist Nigerian farmers to achieve food security.
The President, John Deere Tractors, who oversees Africa, Asia and Europe, Mark Von Pence, said Nigeria’s large population provided opportunities and challenges in feeding a projected 300 million population in the next 10 years.
He noted that the country could only surmount this challenge if it adopted mechanised agriculture, adding that his firm was ready to partner Nigeria.
The Managing Director, John Deere Tractors, Jason Brantley, said the firm had been in Africa for more than 30 years and noted that it had the competence and experience to help Nigeria attain national food security.