The Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Sualaimon Lasun-Yussuff, has donated three tractors worth N60 million to boost agriculture in Osun State.
The tractors were presented to All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Osogbo/Olorunda/Orolu/Irepodun Federal Constituency by the lawmaker in Osogbo, on Friday.
Honourable Lasun-Yussuff called on government at all levels and other stakeholders to support the gesture in order to encourage farmers across the state.
He said: “If government can subsidise agriculture in terms of farm inputs and prices of farm produce as being done in some countries, thus millions of people who have abandoned farming as one of their inherited occupation would have gone back to farm.
“Government should design ways of buying directly from farmers doing so will encourage more mechanized farming in our country.
“As a matter of urgency, we need to pass a bill on agriculture that will bring back the Marketing Board. In some countries they do not allow farmers who have worked tirelessly in the course of production to be looking for market for his produce.
“The issue of subsidy itself emanated from agriculture. Farm produce must be subsidised in all aspect either in terms of farm inputs or the prices of the farm produce.
“It is ridiculous for Nigeria to be subsidising fuel price instead of subsidising agricultural imputs and farm produce. If governments buy from farmers at high price it will encourage them to go back to the farm. You don’t allow farmers to suffer and still be selling their produce at unreasonable costs.
“That is what they are doing in other countries like America and United Kingdom and that is why they are ahead of others in everything.”
Honourable Lasun-Yussuff added that the gesture was borne out of his experience as a farmer, adding that Nigerians, regardless their educational background and political status should embrace farming as a means of economic survival.
He said that any country that is not able to feed itself will never do well in terms of poverty alleviation.
“I’m urging you to go back to the farm. The farming I’m referring to is not farming by hoes and cutlasses, it is mechanized farming.
“To improve on extensive farming we need tools that are more powerful and effective than hoes and cutlasses,” he said.
Honourable Yussuff said the newly donated tractors would motivate farmers to do more on the farm land, adding that government should set aside a mechanism that would boost the morale of farmers by subsidising all-round agricultural inputs towards the revival of nation’s economy.