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Deal to provide 10,000 tractors for farmers remembered very late—Expert

The recent collaboration agreement sealed by the current administration through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigeria Agriculture Mechanization and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) to provide 10,000 tractors for both small and large scale farmers in Nigeria came very late in the life of the administration.

This was the position of a Lagos large scale vegetable farmer, Alhaji Mohammed Iliya.

In an interview, he said “Going by the decision of the administration to drive economic diversification in agriculture from the onset of the regime, critical agro-infrastructure like tractors ought to have been among the first set of deals to show Nigerian farmers seriousness”.

According to him, “What an saying is that such deals would have come as early as 2016 or last year and not within an election year so that they will use it as election campaign gimmick to gain votes from farmers.

“Ok, now the agreement to supply 10,000 tractors for farmers to use has been signed, I think before the tractors will land, farming season for the year may have gone.

“Apart from farming, Nigerian farmers are in need of peace within the agrarian regions and not tension as it is now in many farming states. Government should resolve the farmers’ herders’ crisis and work out a reliable products preservation centres and revive all the Silos now moribund in parts of the federation.

The Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh had explained during the agreement signing in Abuja that the collaboration is targeted at increasing agricultural output for domestic consumption and export.

He noted that it would also give birth to the Private Sector Driven Agriculture Mechanization Programme (PSDAMP), which is structured to deploy high quality mechanization equipment, finance expertise, mechanization extension and capacity building services using an equipment leasing model (ELM).

Ogbeh further expressed optimism that the partnership would enable the agricultural sector to become finance-generating, adding that the partnership, which had already secured the approval of the federal government, would also make sure the equipment are well taken care of, adding that people will be trained on how to handle the tractors and the project.

In his remarks, Programme Officer of NAMEL, Ahmed Adekunle, said the programme is mostly designed to encourage youth’s involvement in farming business to deepen food security for the nation.

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