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Technology to drive Nigeria’s mechanised farming—FG

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has disclosed that the Federal Government drive to mechanised agriculture will be powered by full technology package transfer covering all stages from agricultural production to industrial processing, packaging and marketing.

Making the disclosure in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in a meeting with the state governor, Mr Dapo Abiodun, the Minister averred that agricultural mechanisation programme remains the clear solution to achieving food sufficiency and job creation in Nigeria.

He added that the new mechanization is coming alongside a Turkish investment of about $15m which will run for two years.

According to him, “The programme will be private sector-driven and government will only create a conducive environment and offer assistance where necessary especially in Ogun State, which had been notable for cocoa and rice production.”

“We must develop new cocoa varieties in Nigeria because the new cocoa varieties will yield in two and half years,” Nanono said.

Continuing, he noted that “the programme would have service centres across the country, 140 processing stations and would enhance production, create jobs and grow the nation’s Internally Generated Revenue.

The minister said Nigeria would gain more from the experience of Turkey in the agricultural value chain as there were a lot of areas of collaboration between Nigeria and the Turkish government.

While noting that both countries could collaborate in the areas of subsistence and mechanised intervention farming in order to achieve food security in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri assured members of the delegation of the full support of the ministry, adding that the government would come up with a document to guide investors in the agricultural sector.

In his remarks, Governor Abiodun described Ogun State as the food basket of the nation and told the minister that the state was investing massively in capacity building, especially in extension services.

The Governor revealed further that the aim is to improve yields in farm products such as cassava, maize, cotton and rice, among others.

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