The Kano State government has supported the state chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) with N132 million to enable it take delivery of the 44 tractors it ordered recently from India.
The state AFAN chairman, Alhaji Faruk Rabi’u, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Kano on Friday.
He said the amount represented 25 per cent of the total cost of the 44 tractors the association purchased from the TAK tractors company.
“The state government has given us the money as a grant to enable us to pay the initial deposit of 25 per cent, while the remaining 75 per cent will be paid within three years.
“We have since collected the money and paid to the company,“ Rabi’u said.
He said the decision by the association to purchase the tractors was borne out of renewed efforts to shift from the traditional system of farming to the modern ways.
The association found it necessary to shift to mechanised farming from the traditional farming system in order to ensure massive food production in the state.
“Mechanised farming is the new trend across the globe hence the decision of the association to purchase the equipment for use by our members in the state.
“We are expected to pay the balance of N396 million in the next three years,” he said.
The AFAN chairman said farmers in the state had been directed to form cooperatives and embrace cluster farming to enable them benefit from the various government’s interventions, especially in the area of loan facility.
“When farmers embrace cluster farming, they have the better chance of getting improved and proper seeds for a particular farms or areas.
“In addition, they will make maximum utilisation of the tractors that we have now as the rice production for dry season will soon begin,“ he said.
According to him, no fewer than 30, 000 hectares of irrigable land will be cultivated by rice farmers this dry season farming in the state.
Rabi’u said that the state chapter of Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN) had commenced registration of farmers to benefit from the federal and state government’s support.
“So far, no fewer than 20,000 rice farmers have registered with the association for the dry season programme in the state,” he said.