By Victoria Onehi
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen Abubakar Kyari, CON, says the production of 2,000 tractors in-country yearly would enhance food production, create jobs for Nigerian farmers, especially women and youth as well as achieving food and nutrition security in the country.
The Minister stated this while receiving a delegation from John Deere led by its Vice President, Jason Braintley, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja today, Friday. Also present were the Chairman and Directors of Flour Mills Nigeria, as well as Country Director of Tata Africa Services.
Kyari noted that the visit was a follow-up to the meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President Ibrahim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation held in lowa, USA.
He said that, when produced, government would not off-take the tractors but provide the enabling environment to make the tractors affordable at low-interest rate to Nigerian farmers and boost all-year round farming.
In a statement by the Ministry , Kyari pointed out there was need for farmers to form clusters or co-operatives to ensure that they have access to mechanization and pay instalmentally within a few years.
In his remarks, Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abudullahi, stressed the need to evaluate existing co-operatives and ascertain those that require support to enable them access the tractors when available. He also emphasized the importance of identifying crops most suitable for mechanization.
The Vice President of John Deere, Jason Braintley said that the company was exploring the feasibility of hiring, acquisition and production, in addition to after-sales services, supply of genuine spare parts and training of operators and mechanics.
The capacity of the tractors would range between 75 and 90 horse-power for use in different terrains in the country.