The Federal Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Agricultural Mechanisation and Equipment Leasing Company and Mechanization Service Provider (MSPs) to boost access of farmers to mechanisation services across the country.
The partnership would deploy 10,000 tractors in four phases to members of the Tractor Owners and Operators of Nigeria (TOOAN) and the Tractors Facilities Association of Nigeria (TOFAN).
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while signing the pact at the weekend in Abuja, commended TOOAN and TOFAN for the innovation, and said the government was a bad manager of mechanisation services, saying farmers’ organisation had the capacity to manage tractors effectively.
Noting that land clearing activities are more tedious in the South than the North due to soil textures, he urged the farmer’s organisations to ensure tractors are deployed based on specifications, advising the leasing company to work on importing tractors that consume less diesel.
He assured that the nation would not experience food shortage due to the recent flood.“We will not sit here and watch Nigeria to starve. We are aware that the cost of food is a bit high due to cost of transportation and other factors, but most importantly, we want to ensure that the rural areas are richer and happier. They suffer too much,” Ogbeh said.