The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said 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 avai food and nutrition security in the country.
Kyari stated this while receiving in audience a delegation from John Deere led by its Vice President, Jason Braintley,
The delegation, according to Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Assistant Director, Information of the Ministry was on a courtesy visit to the Minister’s office in Abuja today, last week.
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, Kashim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation held in lowa, USA.
He said when produced, the 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.
Kyari pointed out there was a need for farmers to form clusters or co-operatives to ensure that they have access to mechanisation and pay instalmentally within a few years.
In his remarks, Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Senator 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 emphasised the importance of identifying crops most suitable for mechanisation.
The Vice President of John Deere, 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 he disclosed would range between 75 and 90 horse-power for use in different terrains in the country.