MAKURDI– Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom on Thursday launched and released for the next cropping season 50 tractors worth about N6.95 billion to farmers in the state.
The Governor explained that government purchased each of the tractors for N13.9 million, comprising the trailer, harrow, ridger and other implements.
Ortom disclosed this while commissioning the tractor for onward distribution to farmers in the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state at Government House Makurdi on Thursday.
While the governor urged farmers in the state not to neglect their farms so as to ensure that the issue of food insecurity was brought under check, he advised them to observe safety rules so as not to contact COVID-19.
He said, “Even in the face of COVID-19 farmers will still have to go to farm in order to avoid any situation that will result to issues of food insecurity.
“The way things are going, the COVID-19 situation if not checked will definitely threaten food security.”
Furthermore, he noted that government has subsidised the tractors by 40 percent (N5.6 million) and would sale each of them to farmers at the cost of N8.3 million.
Governor Ortom also stated that the plan is that as soon as the beneficiaries paid for the tractors, government would make additional money available, purchase more tractors and sale them again to the farmers as efforts to saturate the state with tractors to boost farming in the state.
According to the governor, manufacturers of the tractors have also promised to make available spare parts as well as service centers for the tractors, just as he advised the benefitting farmers to take advantage of the services of the manufactures.
He stated that it has become pertinent for government to provide tractors so that farmers in the state will engage in mechanised farming to increase food production in Benue.
The Governor warned that any tractor found working outside Benue would be impounded and the contract voided